Karabeej/Nattif { بسكوت ناطف/كرابيج}

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There are a few childhood treats that bring you right back to your younger carefree years. In Lebanon Karabeej cookies is one of them. Not to be confused with the nut filled dessert this marshmallow stuffed cookie is the things childhoods are made of. When our parents were younger you could get you hands on karabeej from vending carts that lined the streets during afternoon and evening strolls. The vendor would scoop a generous dollop of marshmallow fluff from a giant tin and sandwich  between two Maria biscuits. At local convenience stores (dikken) you would find them prepackaged and often with prize coins stuffed inside. Maybe not so safe by today’s standards but still holds fond memories for that generation.

I love this cookie so much that I often ask for it to be sent back with any travelers from Lebanon. Nothing beats the original, but being able to make it at home definitely has its perks.

To get the perfect egg white whip start with room temperature eggs and a completely grease free bowl and whisk. Have the egg whites and cream of tartar ready to go and start to whip just as the sugar mixtures gets close to target temperature. This way you avoid needing to heat the syrup again if it cools too much while eggs are whipping. Drizzle the syrup in carefully between the side of the bowl and whisk to keep the whisk from catching the stream and splashing it. For corn syrup you can use either light or golden but the golden will affect how white the marshmallow fluff will turn out. as a substitute you can also use glucose syrup. This recipe yields 6 cups of marshmallow fluff which will make you a lot of karabeej cookies. Just how much depends on the quantity you use in the cookies and how much you silently sneak eat from the mixer!

Safety Note: When boiling sugar syrup, be extremely cautious. The syrup is very hot and if it comes in contact with your skin it can cause severe burns. The syrup is thick and sticky, causing it to continue to burn if it comes in contact with your skin. Also, watch for splattering as you drizzle syrup into the mixer.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 6 cups
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pack Maria cookies
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DIRECTIONS

  1. Place water, sugar and corn syrup in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. Over low heat stir to combine and let the sugar dissolve.
  3. Once dissolved insert a candy thermometer into the pot and increase heat to medium. Do not stir or mixture will crystallize.
  4. Simmer this mixture until it reaches 240 F or 120 C on a candy thermometer.
  5. As sugar mixture nears target temperature start your eggs in mixer. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of stand mixer.
    Tip: in order for egg whites to whip properly, bowl and whisk need to be completely grease free.
  6. Turn on mixer to medium speed and whip the egg whites to soft peaks; 3-4 mins.
  7. Once sugar mixture has reached  240 F (120 C) remove from the heat.
  8. Very slowly and cautiously pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites in a steady stream while mixer runs on medium/low.
  9. Once all of the syrup is in, set mixer to medium/high and continue whipping. The whites will deflate at first, but they will thicken back up.
  10. Continue to whip for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  11. Add in vanilla extract and whip until the marshmallow fluff has cooled.
  12. Scoop generous amounts of marshmallow onto cookie and lightly sandwich with second cookie.
  13. Place sprinkles or shredded coconut in a bowl and carefully roll marshmallow cookie until all sides are covered.
    Tip: Can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.
  14. Store any left over marshmallow fluff in an airtight container; stores up to 6 weeks at room temperature.

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