The first time I tried mastic cookies was in Bozcaada (Greek: Tenedos), an island off the Turkish Aegean coast, at the Veli Dede Bakery. Over time the mastic flavor has really grown on me, to the point where I actually crave it. These mastic flavored cookies are made using a mixture of flour and cornstarch, which makes them melt in your mouth. At that bakery in Bozcaada they also add almonds to their mastic cookies, which is not part of my recipe below, but you could easily add some.
If you love the flavor of mastic, you might also want to try this mastic flavored Turkish pudding recipe.
Makes 20 cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (195 grams)
1/2 cup corn starch (65 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt (1-2 grams)
1/3 cup powdered sugar + 1/3 cup more for dusting (40 grams + additional 40 grams)
1-2 mastic crystals (chickpea sized), ground into powder (it helps to use 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar to grind them with a mortar and pestle)
1 cup butter, softened (227 grams)
1 teaspoon (liquid) vanilla extract (4 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
- Thoroughly mix together flour, corn starch, salt, and powdered sugar.
- Add butter and vanilla extract, and knead the dough together with your hands.
- Form the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet (at least 1 inch between cookies).
- Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack of the oven, or until the bottoms are golden (depending on the oven, I have seen them take up to 20 minutes to cook).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Dust with powdered sugar. Store cooled cookies in airtight container.