These melt in your mouth butter cookies are served at holiday times such as post-Ramadan Eid al fitr, Christmas and Easter. This recipe is an adaptation of the original made slightly earthier with the addition of black tea both steeped into the ghee and blended in with the dried spices.
Traditionally images of the sun goddess were imprinted on the tops of the cookies, and molds and stamps are available to give this imprint as well as other festive images. There is also a traditional serrated tweezer to aid you in carving decorative tops, or they are often left plain as well. Various imprints can be useful when you use multiple fillings, or you can leave them to be a lovely surprise when eaten.
It is said that in Egypt in the 10th century these cookies were stuffed with coins by the royal bakers and distributed to the poor. Today however the fillings tend more towards nuts, dates and honey.