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Make Armenian Greek Finikia Cookies

Finikia Cookies

This Finikia recipe comes from my grandmother on my father’s side—Anahid Hagopian (née Kevorkian).  My grandmother was born in 1915 in Shabin Karahisar, which is historical western Armenia. She was orphaned due to the genocide of Armenians orchestrated by Ottoman Turks at the beginning of the 20th century.

These highlands, where she was born, were one of the few locations where Armenians actively resisted the Armenian genocide in an epic battle. This was also the birthplace of Kcatch Andranig Ozanian, a celebrated Armenian fedayee soldier and general.

To save her life from advancing Turkish forces, she was surrendered to an orphanage and then transferred along with thousands of other Armenian babies to orphanages in Greece where she grew up. At the age of thirteen, the Near East Foundation supported her move to Cairo, Egypt where she was welcomed into Haig and Marie Hovsepian’s family. She married my grandfather, Vartares Hagopian, also orphaned by the genocide, in 1937 in Cairo.

My grandmother Anahid Hagopian (née Kevorkian) Armenian genocide survivor

I am taking comfort in writing and sharing this recipe with you all today as it is a reminder of my grandmother’s and our ancestors’ fight to live and Armenians blazing legacy of strength and survival.

This is a very difficult time for Armenians around the world as we relive the trauma of our people’s genocide as Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, invades our motherland—threatening our people’s existence through dehumanizing and barbaric acts of violence against our soldiers and the innocent villagers living near the border.  

Finikia Cookies

My father remembers these cookies fondly from his childhood, and I am grateful that my aunt preserved the recipe exactly how my grandmother used to make it. We all loved these melt-in-your-mouth cookies with delicious and simple flavours of cinnamon and walnuts. Soaking the cookies in sugar syrup gives them a decadent, sweet taste.

This is a Greek recipe possibly taught to her when she lived in the orphanage in Greece. She was well-known for bringing a platter of these to every event.

Steps to making delicious Finikia cookies
Soaked Finikia cookies ready for crushed walnuts

Watch my video to see the steps in making these fantastic and decadent Finikia cookies!

These cookies taste even better the next day after they have absorbed all the sticky sweet syrup.

Anoush ellah!

Make Armenian Greek Finikia Cookies

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Dessert Greek/Armenian
By Sylvia Hagopian / Armenian Dish Serves: 32
Prep Time: 1 hour Cooking Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 1.5 hours

You will love my grandmother's melt-in-your-mouth Finikia cookies with the delicious and simple flavours of cinnamon and walnuts. Soaking the cookies in sugar syrup gives them a decadent, sweet taste.


  • Cookie batter
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups Crisco
  • ½ cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/8 cup sugar (my aunt explained that just a palm-full is needed, since they will be dipped in sugar syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp corn starch (mix with 1 cup of water)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 5 cups of flour
  • ¾ cup crushed walnuts for topping
  • Sugar syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper


Blend together oil, Crisco and butter until smooth. Combine all the dry ingredients (except the walnuts which will be used for topping the cookies after soaking.) Mix water with cornstarch. Alternate adding water/cornstarch mixture and flour in batches to the oil and butter. Combine well until smooth.


Flour your surface and your rolling pin. Roll your dough about 1 cm think and cut out circles using a cookie cutter. With a very gentle touch, roll the circles into ‘tubes.’ Then, each of these cookie tubes are gently rolled down the rough side of a cheese grater. (The prickly side you would use for grinding spices.) This helps to give it a design and later will help the cookie absorb the syrup after being baked.


Line the cookies in your tray and bake for 25 minutes until the bottom is lightly browned.


While the cookies are baking, combine the syrup ingredients in a saucepan and find a slotted spoon. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer on low.


After the cookies have cooled, dip each cookie with the slotted spoon into the sugar syrup. Allow it to absorb in the sauce pan for about 10-15 seconds per cookie. Place them on a cookie wrack that allows the syrup to drip down. While the cookie is still wet from the syrup, sprinkle crushed walnuts on top. My advice is to cover the counter with paper so that you aren’t cleaning up a sticky mess!


These cookies taste even better the next day after they have absorbed all the sticky sweet syrup.


Anoush ellah!

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  • Susan H
    September 30, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    These look incredibly delicious! Thank you for honouring her memory in this way! She would have been so proud ❤️

    • armeniandish
      September 30, 2022 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks Susan! XOXO