Farina cookies (Greek halva): vegetarian



1/2 stick of butter
1 c 2 1/2 minute* farina (cream of wheat)
optional 1/4 c pine nuts or 1/4 c slivered almonds

1 c sugar
1 c milk
1 c water

cinnamon for topping

*Do not use instant farina, it has a different texture and will not cook up the same way. Almost all farina sold in Mediterranean markets are good to use.

Towel placed under lid to absorb steam after cooking


Melt the butter in a heavy pot and add farina and nuts. Stir constantly over a low to medium flame until the farina and nuts lightly brown. Watch carefully, you don’t want to burn it. Turn the flame off.

Warm the milk, sugar and water together in a separate pot or in the microwave. Warming it prevents the farina from having to cool down and then heat up again.

Pour the liquid mixture into the farina pot, it may splash, so be careful, and turn the fire back on. Stir constantly over low flame until the farina gets really think. Turn the flame off.

Put a towel or a couple paper towels over the top of the pot and put the lid on, that will absorb some of the steam while it is cooling a bit. Then uncover in about 10 minutes and spoon shape the “cookies” onto a tinfoil or wax paper and allow to cool.

Sprinkle with cinnamon if you like it. Store left overs in the refrigerator.

Makes 28 cookies: 78 calories each with the nuts, 70 without
Makes 4 servings: 550 calories per bowl with nuts, 494 without
Total calories: 2204 with nuts, 1977 without

Rating: 5 out of 5.

So simple to make. The “cookies” are a traditional favorite in our family, everyone loves them. Instead of making cookies you can just scoop some into a bowl and eat it hot, it’s really just breakfast cereal. The Greeks call this halva, not to be confused with the sweet sesame type you can buy in stores.

You can make it with semolina too, but I find 2 1/2 minute farina to be perfect. You can also shape it in a mold, or just pour it out into a log and slice it to serve.

I love to eat it with lots of cinnamon on top, but anyway you serve it, it’s so good.

If I have some the second day I do warm it up in the microwave to take the chill out.


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