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Tibetan Rice Cookies

Fruits, Desserts, and Other Sweet Foods

Tibetan Rice Cookies
Ingredients for the dough:
4 cups milk
1/2 cup rice
1 Tablespoon (1 packet) yeast
4 eggs
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon powdered cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
Ingredients for the syrup:
1/2 cup honey
1/8 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon powdered cardamom
1/8 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Preparation:
1. In a heavy saucepan, slowly bring the milk to a boil. Stir in the rice and simmer over low heat for twenty minutes or more, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cover; and let this stand in a cool place for eight hours.
2.In a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in one-quarter cup warm water for ten minutes, then beat the eggs and stir them into the mixture.
3. Add the honey, cardamom, salt, and flour. Knead into a moderately stiff dough then place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth in a warm, draft-free area for an hour until it doubles in size.
4. Punch the dough down and knead for a minute or two; then form the dough into a ball then roll it on a lightly floured wooden board into a one-quarter inch thickness and into a rectangular shape.
5. Cut the dough horizontally into one-inch strips. Then make a cut down the center so that each piece is about four inches long. Make an incision into the center of each dough strip. Lift the strip from the cutting board and gently push one end of the dough through the center cut and pull it through. Straighten the dough and set it aside. Do the same with each piece and let them rise for thirty minutes.
6. Ten minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake on a buttered tray for fifteen to twenty minutes until golden brown.
7. Mix the honey with three tablespoons of water, then add the nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon and mix. While the cookies are still warm and moist, brush each cookie with the syrup mixture, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.
Note: These delicately flavored cookies were always a part of the festivities on Losar, the Tibetan New Year. Baskets of cookies were wrapped in silk to mark this special occasion. An alternative to baking them is to fry the cookies until they are golden brown.

                                                                                                                                                       
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