An Armenian sweet treat, known as St. Sarkis halva is set aside specifically for St. Sarkis Day. The celebration of this day by the Armenian church, is very similar to St. Valentine's Day, as St. Sarkis was seen as the patron of love and youth. Following the church service, the children exchange gifts and sweets with one another.
[caption id="attachment_1466" align="alignright" width="300"] St. Sarkis halva coated in sesame seeds[/caption]
To make this delicious recipe, use the following ingredients-
2 pounds of sesame seeds which have been kept refrigerated
Granulated sugar – measure 3 cups
4 tbsps. of water
1tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1tbsp of orange blossom water
A jar of marshmallow cream – 7 ounces
1 cup of nuts. You can use either pistachios or walnuts.
Now, follow these simple instructions.
Place a rimmed baking sheet on the counter and place 2/3 of the sesame seed in a heap. Next, mix the sugar, water, lemon juice and orange blossom water into a saucepan and bring them to the boil. Do this until you notice the mixture turning a golden brown color. Add the marshmallows and mix them in, then turn off the heat. Now pour the mixture slowly onto the sesame seeds.
You can use either your hands or a spatula to spread the mixture out and add a few more of the cool sesame seeds to the mixture so as to ensure that it does not stick to your hands, or the spatula. Once this is done, take the baking sheet with the mixture, which should now be covered in sesame seeds and invert it onto a clean counter surface.
[caption id="attachment_1467" align="alignleft" width="226"] Delicious halva - ready to eat[/caption]
Try to do this quickly. So the baking sheet does not become hard. You can then add the walnuts/pistachios and roll the mixture. Once you've rolled up the mixture, simply cut it into sections of at least 1 and 1/3 inches each in length. Allow the mixture to refrigerate until it has set.
The easiest part of this recipe is that it involves no baking, whatsoever, it's as easy as that!
Moving quickly to prevent the sheet from getting hard, add the walnuts or pistachios and roll. Cut into 1 ½-inch lengths and refrigerate until set.