Description

Lazarakia

On the day of the celebration of Lazaros, women in Kos prepare local biscuits called lazarakia. Tradition even requires that engaged women prepare one in a small child's size so they can send it to their groom.

Ingredients

The dough
1 kilo farina flour
the juice of two oranges
300 gr. tahini
1 cup olive oil
some sugar
some salt
1 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in the juice)

The filling
500 gr. sesame seeds (roasted and ground)
500 gr. minced raisins
500 gr. ground walnuts
almonds (or whichever nut you prefer)
5 soup spoons jam or spoon sweet

Filling Method
Soak the raisins in brandy or water for about 1 hour until they bloat. Drain and grind them in an electric mixer. Lightly oven roast the sesame seeds in a pan without using any oil. You'll know that it's ready if the sesame doesn't stick to a spoon. Allow to cool and then grind. Roughly grind the walnuts. Mix the above ingredients with as much jam necessary, until a moderately sized mix is made (about 5 soup spoons of jam).

Method
Dissolve the tahini in a little lukewarm water. In a bowl add the flour, tahini, olive oil, sugar and salt. Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice and pour it into the mixture. Knead into a soft dough and let it rest covered for about 15 minutes.

Roll out an oval shaped pieced of the dough about the size of your palm. Put about a soup spoon's worth of filling on the piece. Fold the dough over the filling lengthwise and cut off whatever is left over at the bottom and the top. Turn your 'parcel' over so the fold is facing the bottom.

Knead some dough into strings, two long and one short. Take the short string and place it at the top of the parcel, around the head like a turban. Take the one long string and place it on the middle and going from bottom to top, fold a cross on the top and stick it on the bottom. Stick two cloves in the space between the two cords; these will act as eyes. Now take the largest string and wrap it around like a cloth. Garnish the edges with a fork. Before baking, brush them with honey diluted in warm water. Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees celsius for about half an hour until golden brown. Instead of using farina flour, you can use all purpose flour with a packet of baking powder or yeast.

Tip: You can use whichever nut your like in the filling. Almonds were once used.