A few weeks ago I got a fabulous treat in the mail. I was so anxious as I tore open the box to find inside a bottle of Moroccan gold…argan oil. This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned this oil, in fact I’ve even given a bottle away! I was so excited when The Argan Tree contacted me to see if I would be interested in giving their product a shot. (of course I was!) I am a HUGE advocate for supporting local artisans and love the business approach of The Argan Tree. The argan oil comes from a women’s cooperative in southern Morocco (the only place in the world that argan trees grow). About 1/3 of each sale goes directly into the pockets of the women to help them achieve self-sufficiency and economic stability. The remaining funds go into product and start-up costs as well as support staff.
I’ve made and shared a few recipes on here using argan; such as the salad dressing for the bacon, egg and asparagus salad, a drizzle on cumin cauliflour, Argan Banana Muffins, and a Beef Tajine with argan. I’ve been told argan is a bit like sesame oil, not really meant to be used IN cooking but as a drizzle or condiment. I’ve cooked with it plenty of times and enjoy it.
When this new bottle showed up and I popped open the lid it was heavenly. Really this is good stuff. I loved that it was closed with a cork. Popping it open and smelling the nuttiness of the oil I wanted to guzzle it right then and there. Instead I thought about making amlou. Amlou is a paste, akin to hummus of the levant but much more sweet than savory. It is made from almonds and argan oil and really quite simple to make. Today you’ll get a 2 for 1 deal with the post – amlou and amlou cookies!
For the Amlou:
- 1 cup of raw almonds
- 1-2 tbsp argan oil
- 2 tsp sugar
You really need a food processor to make this easily. I am sure there is a way to make it by hand but really I don’t think you would want to. This way all you need to do is toss the almonds in the food processor and turn it on. Leave it for about 4 minutes. The almonds will first break apart, as they continue to break down they will start clumping up – don’t worry let it go. They will then start to get creamy as the oil releases. After 4 minutes turn it off and open it up. Add the sugar and let it combine for another minute. *Note: You may want to add more sugar based on how sweet you like things. In the last minute slowly add the argan. You may need a little more or a little less oil. The consistency should be similar to a natural peanut butter. You will notice when adding the oil that the almonds will loosen right up. That’s what you want. You now have amlou.
You have two choices now. One is to grab some bread and eat all the amlou by itself. Two is to set it aside and make these cookies.
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 stick of melted butter
- flour or almond flour for dusting
Sift flours, baking soda, salt and powdered sugar together. Add egg and melted butter. You can combine this mixture with your hand. You will not want to overwork it but just get it all together. The final product will be a ball that is a little wet. Wrap up the ball with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. You will want the dough to be firm enough to roll out.
Once rested use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a large rectangle. You may need to sprinkle flour or almond flour onto the dough so that it doesn’t stick. Once all the dough is about 1/4″ thick use a spoon to spread a layer of amlou over the entire rectangle. It will be a thin layer. If you are finding that the amlou is not fluid enough to spread, add a little more argan to the amlou and mix. Once the amlou is down begin rolling the dough up into a large cylinder. Wrap as tightly as possible. Again wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate another hour or longer. The dough should be firm enough to cut through without breaking apart. You may alternately decide to pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into slices between 1/4 and 1/2″ thick. Try to make all cuts as uniform as possible. Lay flat on a cookie sheet. These cookies will not spread so you can place them near one another. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until just starting to brown. Remove from the oven at this point and place on a cooling rack. The cookie will be similar to a shortbread in texture. Tastes great with a hot cup of mint tea!
My kids almost ate all of these before MarocBaba had a chance to try them. They got an overwhelming stamp of approval!
If you’ve wanted to try argan oil but have been unsure where to find a good quality oil – give The Argan Tree a shot. I have tried many many different oils and this one so far is my favorite.
I have one other exciting thing to note. Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours is on special at Amazon. I’m not sure how long this will last for but you can get it today for under $24 (it’s a steal). I adore this cookbook and often go to it for new ideas.
***I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a complimentary bottle of argan oil from The Argan Tree. The opinions expressed are my own and I will never endorse something I have not tried or do not believe in. You can read my full disclosure policy here.