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Chubbaita: Sicilian Sesame Seed Candy

Growing up my mother and father used to make this sesame candy every Christmas season, and for the past 40 years my sister has carried on the same tradition. This year. I thought to give it a try.

Some Sicilian recipes, like this one clearly reveal their Arabic origin, far in time and deep-rooted: the Cubbaita is a typical Sicilian dessert whose name comes from the Arabic word “quibbiat” which means “with almonds”.

The recipe and method of making this almond or sesame seed brittle varies delightfully from city to city: in western Sicily region it is made with almonds and pistachio nuts, in southeastern region of Sicily it is made with sesame. Check out the video tutorial below for the easy step by step instructions on making this delicious holiday treat!


1 pound toasted raw sesame seeds

1/2 pound honey

3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon best quality vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup orange peel

1/4 pound toasted almonds


- In a large skillet, over medium heat toast sesame seeds, being very careful not to burn

the seeds. ( set aside )

- In a heavy sauce pan bring honey to a boil for 5 minutes

- Add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, orange peel, almonds and toasted sesame seeds

- stir mixture with a wooden spoon and cook for 15 - 20 minutes.

- Transfer to a Silpat lined cookie sheet and with the back of a wooden spoon smooth

out to an even thickness. If seed mixture is sticking to spoon you can dip in water for better control of spreading out.

- Sprinkle top surface with candy sprinkles and gentle press onto surface so the

sprinkles stick.

- Let smoothed out seed mixture set for a few minutes and using a bench scraper, score

vertical and horizontal lines where candy will later be cut.

Using a bench scraper, score both vertical and horizontal lines where candy will later

be cut. and place on a cooling rack to completely harden before storing in a cookie tin

with parchment paper separating each layer.

- Sesame seed candy can be stored for months


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