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Shared by Stella Hanan Cohen

Boulukunio (Almond and Sesame Brittle)

Yield: 15 servingsTime: 1 h

Shared by Stella Hanan Cohen

Boulukunio in glass dish, fresh flowers and groggier atop purple tablecloth.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food and Prop Stylist: Mariana Velasquez.

Boulukunio (Almond and Sesame Brittle)

Yield: 15 servingsTime: 1 h

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).


  • 4 cups hulled sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup blanched split almonds, toasted

For the syrup

  • ½ cups clear honey 
  • ½ cups water
  • 1½ cups sugar
DessertsPurimVegetarianVeganPareveWestern Europe


  • Step 1

    Place 1 cup of sesame seeds into aheavy-based pan over a medium heat and sprinkle with a pinch of flour. Toast the sesame seeds for 4 minutes or until lightly golden, stirring and shaking the pan often. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat this process, 1 cup at a time, with the remaining 3 cups of sesame seeds.

  • Step 2

    Heat the honey, water and sugar in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the syrup thickens and reaches about 245 degrees Fahrenheit, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a very large heatproof bowl.

  • Step 3

    Add the sesame seeds and almonds into the syrup and stir together vigorously with a wooden spoon. Spread the hot sesame seed, almond and syrup mixture onto an oiled worktop. Dampen your hands in cold water and roll the brittle into 1 inch balls. Set aside and allow to cool at room temperature until the brittles firms up. For an alternative brittle 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. Allow to cool at room temperature until the brittle firms up.

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