13th c Arabian dessert.
The art of preparing them is the same as that of the senbūse, with the difference that for the mukallele bray sugar and almonds, knead it all with musk and rose water, and fill the dough in place of meat (take the dough, work it into fine leaves, cut it in strips, place the filling, and fashion them into the form of a triangle). Next fry them in the frying pan in sesame oil, and certain people, after taking them out of the sesame oil, plunge them in sugar syrup, then take them out of the syrup, and eat them. They plunge them in powdered sugar mixed with musk or camphor.— Shirvānī’s translation of al-Baghdādī, folio 69
The dish is a dainty little sweet made of marzipan wrapped in phillo dough and fried in sesame oil then dipped in either sugar syrup or powered sugar.
I made the marzipan by combining finely ground almonds with sugar and enough rose water to make a moldable dough. I used store bought phillo dough as time did not allow for me to make it from scratch. I sliced the phillo into 2 inch wide strips and added a small ball of the marzipan to one end. I wrapped the marzipan in the phillo folding it in triangles until the whole strip was used, sealing the end with a touch of water. The bundles were then fried in a pan with sesame oil until light gold and crisp. The bundles were then dipped in a simple syrup.
al-Baghdadi = al-Kitab al-Tabikh (The Book of Dishes) by Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Karim al-Katib al-Baghdadi, the thirteenth century author of a surviving cookbook. [selected recipes translated by David Waines in In a Caliph’s Kitchen and complete text in “A Baghdad Cookery Book”, trans. by A.J. Arberry, notes by Charles Perry, inMedieval Arab Cookery]