Cherry-Hazelnut Shekerburas

Shekerbura is a traditional sweet pastry hailing from Azerbaijan, a country located at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. We added cherry and Frangelico to the dessert’s standard filling of ground nuts and sugar. Yeasted dough lets the pastry’s surface serve as a palette for intricate, textured patterns. We love how the thin, elevated ridges turn a deep golden brown while baking for even more visual contrast.

Cherry-Hazelnut Shekerburas
Makes 14
  • 2⅔ cups (334 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (48 grams) hazelnut meal
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (120 grams) sour cream
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/40°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) instant yeast
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) water
  • Cherry Frangelico Filling (recipe follows)
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, butter, hazelnut meal, cinnamon, and pepper. Rub with fingertips until well combined. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, egg yolks, and salt. In another small bowl, combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until slightly bubbly, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add yolk mixture and yeast mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Return to bowl; cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 teaspoon (5 grams) water. Divide dough into 14 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, shape each piece into a 4½-inch round. Brush edges with egg wash. Spoon Cherry Frangelico Filling into center of each round, dividing evenly among rounds. Fold dough over filling, and crimp edges as desired. Place on prepared pans.
  6. Using a straight fondant crimper, pinch a row of lines ¼ inch apart into top of crust at a 45-degree angle. Repeat rows 2 more times, rotating direction of lines by 180 degrees each time. Using a paring knife, cut 2 small vents in top of each shekerbura, and brush lightly with egg wash.
  7. Bake until crust is lightly golden and fruit is bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

Cherry Frangelico Filling
Makes about 1¾ cup
  • ⅔ pound (302 grams) cherries, pitted
  • ⅔ cup (147 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (64 grams) dried cherries
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) Frangelico
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat until cherries have released their juices, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices have thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Pro Tip: A maqqash, a pastry tong with serrated tips, is traditionally used to create the designs in the dough before baking. We used a fondant crimper, which can be found at most craft stores or large online retailers.



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