Turkish Tuzlu Kurabiye
Savoury BIscuits are my version of Turkish Tuzlu Kurabiye. Literally translates as salty biscuit, eat as is, or pair with your favourite cheese.
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This is my version of savoury biscuits that originate from my husband’s homeland – Turkey. Known as Tuzlu Kurabiye, it literally translates as salty biscuit. I also made bat shaped ones for Halloween, and also added cheese to half the batch. (See pics). These are perfect for pairing with your favourite cheese, but equally good snacked on alone. They are very moreish…. you won’t be disappointed.
Some Info On These Biscuits/Cookies
Biscuit Or Cookie?
For our American readers, UK biscuits are our name for cookies and not to be confused with American biscuits.
Tips For Handling The Dough
The savoury biscuit dough is very soft, even after chilling for several hours, & will still be very delicate. You don’t want to firm the dough by adding anymore flour, since the delicate dough is what gives these savoury cookies their unique but moreish qualities. They have a very soft crumbly texture that melts in the mouth – similar to Scottish shortbread, but not sweet and not overly buttery either.
Be sure not to skip the chilling time, and you could even freeze it, but would recommend placing in the fridge for 30 minutes before the freezer.
A Note On The Ingredients
You can use butter for this recipe if you want, but I used what we have in the UK call ‘Baking Spread’. It’s made up of vegetable fats and is less expensive than butter, and comes in double the size of container.
I use Aldi or Lidl’s ‘Perfect For Cakes‘. I did a little research and the best equivalent I could come up with in the states (with a relatively high fat percentage) was Country Crock ‘Unsalted Baking Sticks’, with 79% of such fats. If there are any other good brands that are cheaper than butter, please let me know.
What Cookie Cutter To Use
I used a round cutter with a 5.8 cm (2 1/4″) diameter and a smaller square/fluted cutter for the cheese cookies, & that was 4.5 cm ( 1 3/4″) wide. You can of course use any cutters or sizes you like, just be aware of baking them for a shorter or longer time.
I got a total of 51 cookies from this batch, but if you do all of yours the smaller size, you will get much more. Just be aware that I would not advise using stamp/push-out cookie cutters as the dough is very delicate and would stick to it.
Here’s some old pics, with different shapes of savoury biscuits, as well as some with extra sesame seeds.
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: easy, beginner
- Scales or measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Large spoon
- Small measuring jug
- 2 Small Bowls (to separate eggs)
- Stand or Hand Mixer (not essential)
- Baking trays/sheets (2-3 large)
- Baking/parchment paper
- Cookie Cutters
- Pastry Brush (or Paint/Artist brush)
- Palette knife, or butter knife
- Cooling rack
- Timer or Phone Timer
For The Dough
- 125 grams Baking Spread or Butter (see note above, cubed & softened a little. (1 stick + 2 tsp, 4.5oz)
- 110 ml Oil (3¾ fl oz, under ½ cup)
- 1 ½ tbsp Vinegar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 10 grams Bicarbonate of Soda (2 scant tsps- below level of Baking Soda)
- 1 Egg Yolk (keep white for glazing on top)
- 3 tsp Icing Sugar (powdered sugar)
- 312 grams Plain Flour, approximately (2 ½ cups All Purpose Flour, 11oz approximately)
- 45 grams Mature Cheddar Cheese, cubed (1.5 oz, ⅓ cup Sharp Cheddar, optional, for half batch)
For The Topping
- 1 Egg white (from above with a splash of milk or water.)
- Seeds of choice (optional – sesame seeds, pumpkin, sunflower, Nigella seeds.)
PREPARE THE SAVOURY BISCUIT DOUGH
- If using butter, weigh it out cubed & leave to soften a bit. But if you forget, or are short on time, why not try this hack I reviewed? Go to How To Soften Butter In About 12 minutes Video.
- When ready, add the baking spread/butter, oil, vinegar, salt, sugar & egg yolk to a large mixing bowl & give a good mix together.
- Now weigh/add in the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) & give it all a mix through. Using the back of a metal spoon or fork, push down on the baking spread/butter to squash it into the other ingredients. Don’t be put off by the look of the wet ingredients. It will work out. See Photo 1 above.
- Next weigh in the flour very gradually until you get a very thick & smooth dough, like cookie dough. I add in 125g (1 cup) of flour at a time & in the end I added 312g (2 1/2cups). Different types of flour, where & how it’s milled, result in a variation in how much liquid it will absorb. Therefore there can be no exact amount of flour to add here. To tell if it’s the correct consistency, roll a smooth ball of the dough & flatten it with your hand. If you can do that without it falling apart or sticking to you, it’s ready. See Photo 2 above.
- Now cut out 2 extra large pieces of baking/parchment paper (approximately 40cm/15.5″ long). Give the dough a quick 5 second knead & form into a ball. At this point I also halved the dough to make two, with one half of the savoury cookies cheese flavoured. Flatten one half of the dough into a disc & place in the centre of the 2 sheets of baking paper. See Photo 3 above.
- Roll out the dough until you get a thickness of at least the height of a £1 coin plus a 1p on top (5-6 mm or ⅕ – ¼″). See Photo 4 above. Place the dough (with the paper), onto a tray in your fridge. Then chill the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight (you could also freeze it for about 45 minutes, after chilling for 15 minutes). This is a very important step, not to be skipped.
- For the second half of the dough, I added cheese Mature Scottish cheese/Sharp Cheddar). Place the cubed cheese in a food processor & blitz to large breadcrumb sized pieces. See Photo 5 above. Add cheese to the top of the disc of dough & knead whilst still in the bowl, just until all the cheese is distributed. Now roll out like before and chill in the fridge till firmer & easier to work with. Prepare your baking trays/sheets with paper.
CUT OUT THE COOKIES
- Dip the cutter(s) in a small bowl of flour, shake the excess and cut out as many biscuits/cookies as you can. It’s important to work quickly here. Place on the prepared baking tray/sheet & leave a little gap in-between each. See Photo 6 below.
- Once the first tray/sheet is filled, place in the fridge, whilst you roll up the scraps & continue to cut, and re-roll until all the dough is used up. Remember to place the filled trays/sheets in the fridge. Do the same for the second half of the dough. Take a note of the time you place the first tray in the fridge as you will be chilling for another 1 hour (or freeze for 30 minutes). See Photo 7 below of old pics, with different shaped cutters.
- Heat up the oven to 180°c/160°c fan oven/350°f/Gas Mark 4 to coincide with the end of the chilling time. Just before the oven is ready, use your egg white left over & very delicately, brush generously onto the tops of the cookies. Sprinkle or place seeds on top if desired. See Photo 6 & 7 above.
BAKE THE SAVOURY COOKIES
- Place in the oven, for about 14-16 mins until turning golden on top & around the edges. You can re-apply more egg white during baking if drying out and this will help colour them. You want the cookies to be set, but just a little soft inthe middle. See Photo 8.
- Remove from the oven & leave to cool on the tray/sheet for 5 mins. Meanwhile you can put the other uncooked cookies in to be baked. Then transfer very carefully to a cooling rack by using the baking/parchmentpaper. They are a very soft textured biscuit, so be very careful not to drop them. Leave to cool and then enjoy which ever way you want. Store in an air-tight container.
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