Yansoonnieh Dessert Recipe by Nadia Tommalieh

“Yansoonnieh” by Nadia Tommalieh

Yansoonieh is a fragrant semolina, anise & olive oil sticky cake. This aromatic Palestinian dessert is very common during the harvest of olive oil and winter season. The dessert gets drenched in our famous scented orange blossom water syrup. I promise you, you’re going to love the amazing and nutty aroma that fills your kitchen while baking it; and you won’t be satisfied by having just one piece. Enjoy!

Nadia Tommalieh is a food blogger who shares instructional videos of Middle Eastern cuisine and detailed bits about each of the dishes she prepares. We enjoy these informative details and the way she lets us into her kitchen to experience the cooking with her!

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Yansoonnieh Dessert
Orange Blossom water Syrup
Orange Blossom water Syrup
  1. Start with boiling the water then add the whole anise seeds. Turn it off, cover and cool
  2. Strain the infused anise water and reserve both the seeds and water. You should now have about 1 &1/3 cups water in total.
  3. Make the orange blossom water syrup (instructions below) and set aside to cool down.
  4. For the dough: combine the Semolina, flour and salt.
  5. Add the olive oil and rub with the dry ingredients between your hands making sure the olive oil is mixed well will with everything else.
  6. Mix in the ground anise, sesame seeds, nigella seeds, yeast and baking powder
  7. Mix in the strained anise seeds
  8. Add the infused water and knead it well with the rest of the ingredients. The texture of the dough should be on the loose side.
  9. Prep the baking tray by spreading the tahini on it (I use 14 inches round (36 cm) tray)
  10. Spread the Yannsonnieh dough evenly (it should be about 1-1 & ½ inch thick), cover and let it rest for 30 minutes)
  11. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350 F (180 c)
  12. After resting, cut and shape the Yansoonnieh to your preferred style (diamonds, squares etc..) and decorate the pieces with your favorite unsalted nuts
  13. Bake the Yansoonnieh in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until it gets the light golden color
  14. Drizzle the desired amount of the scented syrup over it. Return to the oven and broil for only a couple of minutes. This will enhance the color of the dessert.
  15. Serve it warm or at room temperature with your favorite cup of tea or coffee.
Orange Blossom Syrup
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the water and cook over medium heat until the syrup thickens a bit about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add the lemon juice and orange blossom water and cook for another 3 minutes. Set aside to cool down)
Recipe Notes

Note: I drizzle about 2 & 1/2 cups of the syrup on the Yansoonnieh and serve the rest on the side (for those with the extra sweet tooth).

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