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Shared by Stella Hanan Cohen

Boulukunio (Almond and Sesame Brittle)

Yield: 15 servingsTime: 1 hour

Boulukunio (Almond and Sesame Brittle)

Yield: 15 servingsTime: 1 hour

Family Journey

SpainRhodes, GreeceMarmarise, Turkey
Élisabethville, Belgian Congo (present-day Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the CongoSalisbury, Rhodesia (present-day Harare, Zimbabwe)

“This version of almond and sesame seed brittle is an ancient recipe that dates back generations from the home cooks of medieval Spain,” Stella explains. While traditionally served on Purim and Hanukkah, “most households like to keep a stash of ’boulukunio’ in an airtight tin on standby.”

Read more about Stella's family in "These Medieval Spanish Recipes Live on in Zimbabwe" and try her recipes for Pan d’Espanya (Orange Sponge Cake), Menenas (Shortbread Filled With Dates and Walnuts), and Masapan (Marzipan).


For the candy:

  • 2 cups hulled sesame seeds
  • About 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • ½  cup blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • Vegetable oil for greasing the baking sheet

For the syrup:

  • ½ cup honey 
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ cups sugar

Special equipment:

  • Candy thermometer 
DessertsPurimVegetarianVeganPareveWestern Europe


  • Step 1

    Make the candy: Put 1 cup of the sesame seeds in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and sprinkle with a small pinch of flour. Toast the sesame seeds until lightly and evenly golden, stirring and shaking the pan often, about 4 minutes. Transfer the sesame seeds to a large heatproof bowl. Repeat this process with the remaining 1 cup sesame seeds, adding another pinch of flour.

  • Step 2

    Add the almonds to the bowl of sesame seeds and stir to mix. 

  • Step 3

    Generously grease a small rimmed baking sheet or heatproof shallow baking dish with vegetable oil; set aside. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

  • Step 4

    Make the syrup: Put the honey, water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 245°F, 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the mixture over the sesame seeds and almonds. (Note: The syrup is extremely hot, so use caution and don't use your hands to stir!) Stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon or stiff silicone spatula and then pour the mixture onto the oiled baking sheet. Let the mixture cool until it's comfortable to touch. 

  • Step 6

    Dampen your hands lightly in cold water, scoop up about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a 1-inch ball, then set on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Or, for an alternative shape, roll the mixture into 4 ropes, each about 1 inch thick. Cut diagonally into 1-inch sections using a sharp knife dipped into hot water between every few cuts. 

  • Step 7

    Cool the candies at room temperature until firm; they will remain chewy.

Make Ahead: Layer the brittle between layers of baking paper in an airtight container for up to 1 month.