Bosnian cuisine is renowned for its delectable sweet offerings, and among them, the beloved Hurmasice cookie takes a special place. This traditional treat, with its roots in the Middle East but now a cherished part of Bosnian culinary culture, is a delightful fusion of simple dough, baked to perfection, and generously dipped in sweet syrup. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, a holiday, or simply indulging your sweet tooth, Hurmasice is the perfect choice to satisfy those sugary cravings.

These sweet delights aren’t just for everyday cravings. Hurmasice is a popular choice during special occasions, such as weddings, holidays, and family gatherings. The soft, sweet, and crumbly nature of these treats adds a touch of joy to any celebration, making them a staple in Bosnian festivities.

The Origins Of Hurmasice

Originally from Turkey, Hurmasice founds a welcoming home in Bosnia. These biscuits, soaked in sugar syrup, have become an integral part of Bosnian dessert traditions. The name “Hurmašice” is derived from the Bosnian word “hurma,” meaning date, although interestingly, these treats do not contain dates. Instead, they are crafted with sugar and vanilla extract, delivering a unique and delightful texture to this traditional sweet.

How To Make Hurmasice


For the Cookie Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Sweet Syrup

  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Making Cookie Magic

  1. Mix soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract, stirring well.
  3. In another bowl, sift flour and baking powder together.
  4. Slowly add the dry mix into the buttery goodness to make a simple, tasty dough.

Baking Bosnian Treats

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F).
  2. Shape the dough into small balls and flatten them a bit.
  3. Use your thumb or any round tool to make a little well in the middle of each cookie.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they get that nice light brown color.
  5. Let them cool down.

Sweet Syrup Time

  1. Mix sugar, water, lemon juice, cloves, and vanilla extract in a pot.
  2. Heat until the sugar melts.
  3. Simmer for about 35 minutes until it becomes a thick, sweet syrup.

Bringing It All Together

  1. As the cookies cool, dip them gently into the syrup.
  2. Let them soak up the sweetness for around 30 minutes.
  3. Serve your homemade Hurmasice at room temperature.


  • Soften the butter to room temperature before starting. This ensures it blends smoothly with the sugar, resulting in a light and fluffy dough.
  • Take the time to mix the dough thoroughly. Ensure all ingredients come together, leaving no clumps of flour behind. This step guarantees blended and delicious cookie dough.
  • When shaping your cookies, consider using a cookie cutter or a glass. This not only ensures consistency in size and shape but also promotes even baking for a perfect batch.
  • Keep a watchful eye while baking, aiming for a lightly golden brown finish. Overbaking can lead to dry and crumbly cookies, so achieving that ideal color is key.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. This step ensures the cookies firm up and becomes easy to handle.
  • Aim for a soft play dough-like consistency when preparing your biscuit dough – soft but not sticky. This ensures the right balance for creating delightful and tender cookies.
  • Use a fork to imprint your biscuits for a personal touch and added visual appeal.
  • For an extra burst of flavor, consider prolonging the biscuits’ soaking time in the syrup. This enhances the overall taste, making your Hurmasice even more delightful.
  • If using your fingers isn’t your style, opt for a hand blender to effortlessly mix all the ingredients, resulting in a perfect Hurmasice biscuit dough.

Ingredient Substitutes:

  • If you’re aiming for a gluten-free twist, swap plain flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
  • The sweetness is versatile! Instead of regular sugar, feel free to experiment with granulated sugar, brown sugar, or the natural sweetness of coconut sugar.
  • Don’t worry if unsalted butter isn’t in your pantry. Opt for salted butter but adjust the added salt accordingly. Alternatively, explore margarine or vegan butter for a plant-based touch.
  • For an egg-free version, consider using a flax egg – just mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Another option is apple sauce, adding a fruity note to your delightful cookies.
  • If baking powder is elusive, baking soda steps in as a worthy substitute. Be mindful that the texture might vary slightly, but the deliciousness remains intact.
  • When vanilla extract is scarce, introduce variety with vanilla paste or vanilla bean powder. These alternatives bring their unique charm to the mix.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Hurmasice makes a delightful pairing with your morning coffee or tea, creating a perfect start to your day or a cozy conclusion after a meal.
  • Serve Hurmasice as a sweet and simple dessert, either on their own or accompanied by a scoop of ice cream or a drizzle of chocolate sauce. This sweet treat is sure to satisfy your dessert cravings.
  • Package these delightful treats in a charming box or tin, creating a thoughtful and delicious gift for friends, family, or co-workers. Share the joy of homemade Hurmasice with those you care about.
  • Place a few pieces of Hurmasice on dessert plates, and enhance their sweetness by drizzling a touch of honey or maple syrup. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt or whipped cream for creaminess.
  • Sprinkle finely chopped pistachios or almonds over the Hurmasice for a delightful crunch and a hint of nuttiness. Increase the experience with a side of fresh seasonal fruit.
  • Optionally, dust the top of the Hurmasice with a pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg for a warm and aromatic flavor. An elegant presentation can be achieved with a mint leaf or a small edible flower on each piece.
  • Serve the Hurmasice with a pot of fragrant herbal tea or a refreshing glass of iced tea.

How to store hurmasice

The preservation of Hurmasice depends on how they are stored.


  • Hurmasice can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.
  • Ensure the storage container is sealed tightly to prevent exposure to air and moisture.


  • For longer preservation, store Hurmasice in the refrigerator.
  • In an airtight container, they can last for about 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Allow them to come to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.

Syrup Consideration:

  • If your Hurmasice is soaked in syrup, keep in mind that the texture may change slightly upon thawing.
  • Some prefer freezing without the syrup and adding it later to maintain the original texture.

Note: Always check for signs of spoilage, such as off smells or changes in appearance, before consuming.

Nutrition Facts per Serving

  • Calories: 250 kcal
  • Total Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg
  • Sodium: 5mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 46g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugars: 32g Protein: 1.5g


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