The heaps of special pastries are starting to mount on the shelves of bakeries and in kitchens all over Egypt: as Eid approaches so does kahk. The tradition of kahk is rumoured to go back to pharaonic times and has been part of Egyptian history ever since.
These days more and more people will buy their kahk from professional bakers, yet in many homes the women have been getting together to mix, knead, stuff and bake tray after tray of the delectable cookies. Some keep to old tradition and start baking from the first days of Ramadan, while others start the night before Eid. Small businesses have popped up selling home baked kahk, offering the taste of handmade cookies without the hassle of flour all over the kitchen.
Even though most homes include ovens these days, there are still areas where you can find the women carrying baking sheets of homemade kahk on their heads on their way to central ovens.
Just as sharing an Iftar is an integral part of Ramadan, many pretty boxes of assorted, home baked kahk are sent to family and friends in celebration of Eid. So, speed to the local bakery or heat your ovens. Treat yourself and those around you to these soft, crumbly cookies of celebration.