eat well, travel often, dream big!

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.


You May Also Like

  • 63
    One day before we moved to Morocco I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting for my appointment and decided to make a list in my phone of things that I wanted to do at some point while we were in Morocco. It was a way to pass time and I really didn't think I…
    Tags: dough, cookies, will, sugar, flour, dessert
  • 61
    Best. Cookies. Ever.  Chewy chocolate chip cookies are one of my very favorite things.  Out of desperation I rummaged through my cupboards in search of chocolate chips, only to find out that there weren't any.  What to do, what to do?  Melt down a 1/4 jar of nutella and make Nutella chips of course! How…
    Tags: dough, cookies, flour, add, minutes, will, cup, sugar, dessert
  • 58
    Madelines and Konnafa  A few weeks ago my mom told me that her church was having a cookie swap.  This sounded like a great idea as I mentioned my family has been asking about cookies for a few weeks now. Everyone made 6 dozen cookies and brought them to the church last night.  Then we…
    Tags: cookies, dough, cup, add, dessert
Read more
Guest Post: Sweets of Serbia

Today’s guest post is from Lana of Bibberche.  She is a total sweetheart and I’ve long admired her from seeing her tweets.  I was so shy to even ask her if she would want to do a guest post because she is so talented and I thought she would scoff at my request.  Lucky for me (and for you!) she agreed to do a post on Serbian desserts.  You’re really in for a treat.

I was one of the people who scorned technology and dismissed the computers as a way of communication when I was in college. But I have retracted my opinions a long time ago, and cannot imagine my life without the Internet. I keep in touch with my family scattered all over the world, I connect with old friends, and I make new ones. Amanda was one of the first people I met on Twitter. I realized from reading her blog that we have a lot in common (having married men from foreign countries being only the most obvious connection). I am grateful for our virtual friendship and enjoyed tremendously writing this guest post. Thank you, Amanda, for your hospitality!


I was born in the town of Novi Pazar in southwestern Serbia, very close to the border with today’s Montenegro and Herzegovina. My parents were newlyweds when they moved there, Father a young doctor, Mother the high school German and Art teacher. Their apartment was on the second floor of a building looking over the main street that became the promenade at night, filled with young men and women walking in a lazy, elongated circle, casting surreptitious glances at their secret crushes, shy and apprehensive, with many awkward giggles hidden behind a hand.

The town was a mix of Christians and Muslims with early 10th century solid rock churches on the outskirts looking over the slender minarets in the center. Four centuries of Turkish Ottoman rule left a significant imprint on the area changing forever the religious and cultural milieu of the land. The Turks rode back east in the late nineteenth century, but a big part of their culture stayed behind.
We moved to central Serbia when I was a baby, and went back to Novi Pazar only occasionally to visit relatives and friends. I was always fascinated by this town which reminded me of 1001 Nights with its mosques, narrow cobble-stoned streets, small shops selling hand-made copper dishes and filigree gold, the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans, the high brick and mortar walls with gates facing the street, men in red fezes smoking unfiltered cigarettes and drinking tea for hours, the busy markets crowded with haggling shoppers, and people with strange sounding names.
We looked forward to these weekend two-hour trips by car, feeling as if we were going not only away in space, but back in time. The language had a different rhythm, the pace was slower, the sounds exotic, and the smells coming out of the kitchens unusual and romantic. The breads were flatter, the meat was definitely lamb, and thick yogurt accompanied many restaurant dishes.
Around noon, housewives would leave their chores at home and venture out into the streets, the yards of silk undulating around their legs, long, curly locks hidden behind a colorful scarf. They would visit each other, spending a leisurely hour drinking freshly ground and brewed Turkish coffee and spreading the neighborhood news whispered in confidence over the walls separating the houses.
Turkish coffee is strong, and wise women knew many tricks to prepare the gullet for enjoying it. Sometimes there were only sugar cubes to dunk into a small fildzan of hot, dark liquid. Sometimes there was rose or bergamot flavored rahat-lokum* on a saucer with an accompanying glass of water served as a refreshment before the coffee. Sometimes the hostess would offer her latest homemade fruit preserves, watching with hawk-like attention for her friends’ reactions.
And sometimes there would be desserts cut into small squares and drowned in sweet, lemony syrup. As kids, we learned quickly which houses promised the best feast and ran behind mothers, aunts, friends, and neighbors, eagerly anticipating the flavorful, exotic sugar rush.
Every time I go back to Serbia, I try to go to Novi Pazar to visit my relatives. The town has joined the 21st century with power lines swooping overhead and cell phones at every other ear, but if you squint, you can imagine yourself embraced by a sleepy, romantic air of bygone days, filled with smells and sounds reminiscent of the East.  To bring that feeling to my family in America, I try to introduce all my friends to the wonderful ritual of drinking Turkish coffee. I offer sugar cubes, rahat-lokum my parents regularly send from Serbia, and home-made fruit preserves. And sometimes I even make the sweet, simple desserts, covered in lemony syrup.
*rahat-lokum is known in English as Turkish Delight, a candy made of powdered sugar, starch, and aromatics, often containing nuts.



(“Hurma” is a Turkish word for a date; these cookies are shaped to resemble dates. “Brdo” is a wiry part of a loom; when they are formed, the cookies were rolled against a loom, or later a grater to get the ubiquitous marks.)


For Cookies:

  • I stick (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 Tbsp (125ml) sunflower oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup (150g) plain yogurt
  • 400g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the syrup:

  • 500gr (1lb) sugar
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 1 lemon cut into circles


Mix butter, oil, egg yolks, and yogurt until smooth. Separately sift flour and baking powder, and add lemon zest. Pour the liquid into the flour and mix to combine. The dough should not be too dense, but it should easily come away from the walls of the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Take a walnut-sized piece of dough, flatten it a bit, and roll against the side of the grater with small squares, forming it into an elliptical shape resembling a shell, or a date, with the sides coming together in the middle with a seem. Lay it on cookie sheet (no need to grease it) and continue with the rest of the dough, leaving some space between the cookies.


Bake for 30 minutes, until just barely golden.

In the meantime prepare the syrup. Heat the sugar and water until sugar dissolves, add the lemon slices, and continue simmering on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour hot syrup over cooled cookies and let them sit to absorb it for several hours.






  • 6 medium-sized apples (choose firmer apples that do not fall apart under heat)
  • 400ml (1 ½ cups) water
  • 400gr (15 oz) granulated sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 150gr (5 oz) ground walnuts
  • 250ml (1cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar

Peel and core the apples (make the hole 1 inch in diameter) and lay them in a pot. Cover with water, sugar, and lemon juice, and cook for 15-20 minutes until softened, but still holding their shape. Take the apples out of the liquid and place them in a serving dish with walls at least 2 inches high. Continue simmering the liquid until it slightly thickens, another 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, fill the holes in cooked apples with ground walnuts. Pour the hot liquid over the apples and nuts. Add more nuts if necessary. Chill in the refrigerator. Whip the heavy whipping cream until the soft peaks form, add the sugar, and serve on top of the apples.


So which one would be your favorite?  Stop by Bibberche for more great recipes and pictures!

You May Also Like

  • 53
    Morocco from A-Z Recently I guest posted on Glittering Muffins.  Valerie has a very cool guest post series in which people share information about their state, country or even city. I found it really interesting that when I sat down to think of something representing Morocco that started with every letter of the alphabet I…
    Tags: guest, post, visit, people
  • 48
    Who doesn't love cookies? Better yet, who doesn't love a cookie challenge? A few weeks ago Kurt from Livefire (one of my fellow Verizon Savvy Gourmets) challenged all of us to a cookie showdown.  OK it's really not a showdown but just a fun cookie challenge.  First I was going to do gluten free, but…
    Tags: cookies, time, post, dessert
  • 47
    Today's guest post comes from Nicole and Gary Winchester of CultureAddict/HistoryNerd a most awesome blog from the Toronto couple.  You can also find them on Twitter @addict_nerd.  They are sharing about their trip to Ifrane in northern Morocco. Thanks so much for sharing this with my readers Nicole and Gary! Even after being in Morocco…
    Tags: town, visit, post, guest
Read more

Best. Cookies. Ever.  Chewy chocolate chip cookies are one of my very favorite things.  Out of desperation I rummaged through my cupboards in search of chocolate chips, only to find out that there weren’t any.  What to do, what to do?  Melt down a 1/4 jar of nutella and make Nutella chips of course!

How to make the Nutella “chips” is pretty easy.  I used 1/4 jar of Nutella and melted it in the microwave until it was very loose, but not burned.  Then sprayed a lipped cookie sheet with Pam Baking Spray (if you have a silicone mat, that would work great too).  Spread out the Nutella as evenly as possible on the cookie sheet and pop into the freezer.  It will need to be there overnight to harden up.  Once hard, remove and break into pieces quickly.  This will not stay frozen long so you must work fast.  Pop back into the freezer until ready to mix into cookie mix.

For the rest of the cookie I poked around and found The New York Times Thick and Gooey Chocolate Chip cookie.  I hate crunchy cookies – totally takes away from the point of a cookie in my opinion.  I was very optimistic about this recipe.  And it was a huge success.  Even as I was writing this and fixing the pictures M peeked over and said “You’re going to make those tonight right?”


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Broken apart Nutella piece


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate Nutella pieces. Chill the dough.

3. Roll 1/4 -cup lumps of dough into balls, then place on the baking sheet and flatten to 1/2 -inch-thick disks spaced 2 inches apart. Chill the dough between batches. Bake until the edges turn golden, 14 to 17 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a baking rack.

You can let them cool if you want or eat them while hot with a big glass of cold milk.  Amazing!

You May Also Like

  • 72
    One day before we moved to Morocco I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting for my appointment and decided to make a list in my phone of things that I wanted to do at some point while we were in Morocco. It was a way to pass time and I really didn't think I…
    Tags: dough, cookies, cookie, will, sugar, butter, mix, flour, dessert
  • 69
    Who doesn't love cookies? Better yet, who doesn't love a cookie challenge? A few weeks ago Kurt from Livefire (one of my fellow Verizon Savvy Gourmets) challenged all of us to a cookie showdown.  OK it's really not a showdown but just a fun cookie challenge.  First I was going to do gluten free, but…
    Tags: cookie, cookies, baking, chip, chocolate, work, dessert
  • 68
    Madelines and Konnafa  A few weeks ago my mom told me that her church was having a cookie swap.  This sounded like a great idea as I mentioned my family has been asking about cookies for a few weeks now. Everyone made 6 dozen cookies and brought them to the church last night.  Then we…
    Tags: cookies, dough, butter, cup, add, cookie, dessert
Read more
My youngest son is a very picky eater and even a little small for his age.  Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to increase his calorie intake without it being in wasted calories and junk food.  We’re basically at a point where we let the kid eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I came up with this recipe because he loves bananas and peanut butter is a good way to get some calories in that are fairly good for him.  I am not a baker, I’ve said it before and I say it again!  These however were my first baking success from a recipe I tweeked myself!  I’m a little proud.  I don’t even feel guilty eating them.

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) at room temperature
  • 1 over-ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Directions:
  • In a large mixing bowl, add brown sugar, white sugar, butter.  Cream.  Next add peanut butter and continue to cream.  Add vanilla and banana, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add in flour to bring all together.  If making drop cookies simply spoon onto baking sheet.  To make formed cookies (like mine)
  • Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Take a small amount of dough, about the size of ping-pong ball and shape into a ball.  Place on a cookie sheet.  You should be able to fit 12 on a large sheet.  Press a peanut into the center slightly.  Bake for approximately 8 minutes.  The cookies should be a light brown.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool for a 2-3 minutes and carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Your cookies will be moist and delicious!  If you prefer a crunchier cookie, bake a little bit longer.  This recipe made 4 dozen cookies for me.

Read more
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

My recipe today is for Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake with a gingersnap crust.  This is a good blending of Mediterranean and American style desserts.  Pumpkin is often found in Morocco, mixed into couscous most predominantly.  I have found that pumpkins there are a little sweeter than they are here, which might be attributed to more sun and less storage time before consumption.

This is a dessert plate that I made recently along with Whoopie Pies and Cake Balls.


  • 1 can of pumpkin puree (about 14 oz)
  • 1 package of cream cheese (8oz) softened
  • pumpkin pie spice (mix of cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 box ginger snaps
  • 6 tbsp melted butter

Beat everything (except butter and gingersnaps) together in a large mixing bowl until smooth and set aside.  In a food processor crush ginger snaps and add in butter.  They will become sticky but will remain loose.

Grease a muffin tin of your choice size.  In the bottom of each well, press a tbsp of ginger snap mixture.  Top each with the cheesecake mixture, allowing the cups to be full almost to the top.  Place into a 350F preheated oven for 15 minutes.  The cooking time will depend on the size of the cheesecake you make.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.   Top with whipped cream before serving.

You May Also Like

  • 10000
    After spending 3 weeks in the US, it's safe to say I've gotten my fill of "holiday stuff." Everywhere I went there was Thanksgiving decorations/food/music at every turn and then plastered in front of it all was the looming Christmas panic. I seriously wondered why every year this happens earlier and earlier.  I came at…
  • 10000
    There are few things that I enjoy more than dessert when we travel. Ok who am I kidding, I love dessert anytime! In Portugal the one dessert I heard about over and over again was pasteis de nata. These egg tarts are maybe the most famous culinary tradition Portugal has made. One friend described it…
  • 10000
    There are always a few holiday memories that tend to stick with us. Whether it's a trip to grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas morning at your house, complete with pancakes and hot cocoa these memories are what make holidays so special. For me, spritz cookies are an instant trip to Christmas memory lane.…
Read more


Moroccan Food August 22, 2010 3

A staple in Morocco for Ramadan is the chebekia a flavored cookie that is fried and then soaked in honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds.  I love these cookies but they are a little difficult to make.  I attempted to extract the exact recipe from my mother in law but they don’t measure anything and they also make these in HUGE batches – and by huge I mean about 10-15kg at a time.  Because they are so time consuming many families will get together to split the work and then share the bounty.   I’m going to use Christine’s recipe to share with you because it’s really good and why re-invent the wheel?  This recipe will make about 2 kg of cookies (or a little over 4 pounds). 

  • 1/2 kg (about 4 cups) flour, plus additional if necessary
  • 1 soup bowl full (about 200 g or 7 oz.) of golden unhulled sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon ground anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant
  • pinch of Gum Arabic grains (gum acacia, mastic) – mix with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and crush to a powder
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange flower water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • ———————————————————————-
  • 1 1/2 kg (about 3 lbs.) honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange flower water
  • 1 1/2 liters vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup golden unhulled sesame seeds, toasted, for decorating


Ahead of time, pick through the sesame seeds to remove any debris. Spread them on a baking pan and toast the sesame in a 400° F (200° C) oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sesame seeds are crunchy and nutty-flavored. Allow them to cool thoroughly, and then store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Make the Chebakia Dough

Grind one bowlful of toasted sesame in a food processor until it turns powdery. Keep grinding until the powder becomes moist enough to press or pack.
Mix the ground sesame with the flour and other dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with your hands to form a dough. Add more flour if necessary to achieve a dough that is rather stiff but pliable.
Knead the dough by hand for seven to eight minutes or in a mixer with dough hook for four to five minutes. Divide the dough into four portions, shape each into a smooth mound, and place the dough in a plastic bag to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Roll and Cut the Dough

The rolling out and folding process is described below, but if you’ve never made Chebakia, it will be helpful to see the photo tutorial How to Make Chebakia.
Take one of the portions of dough, and roll it out to the thickness of a thin piece of cardboard. Lightly flour your work surface if necessary.
Use a pastry cutter to cut the dough into rectangles approximately the size of your palm. Make four evenly spaced cuts lengthwise in each rectangle. These cuts should be almost the length of the rectangle, but should not cut through to the edges of the dough. The resulting rectangle will have five strips of attached dough.

Fold the Chebakia

Take a rectangle, and thread the middle finger of your right hand through alternating strips of dough. This enables the rectangle to drape over your finger.
With your left hand, pinch together the outer corners of dough which hang over the tip of your finger. This will form the center of the flower shape.
While holding the pinched corners with your left hand, allow the strips of dough to slide down off your right finger while gently turning them inside-out around the pinched portion. Gently pinch the opposite corners closed once the dough is turned inside out. If done correctly, you’ll have formed the dough into an elongated flower shape.
Place the folded piece of dough on a baking sheet or tray. Repeat the process with the remaining rectangles and mounds of dough. Gather together the scraps of dough as you work, mold them together into a mound, and return them to the bag to rest before you try rolling them out again.
Use up all of your dough in this manner. Cover the trays of folded dough with a towel until ready to fry.

Frying the Chebakia

Heat one inch of oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. At the same time, heat the honey almost to boiling in a large pot. When the honey is frothy but not bubbling, add the orange flower water to the honey and turn off the heat.
When the oil is hot, cook the chebakia in batches. Adjust the heat as necessary to slowly fry each batch of chebakia to a medium brown color. This should take about 10 minutes if the oil is the correct temperature. If the oil is too hot, the chebakia will color quickly but the insides will not be cooked crispy.

Soaking the Chebakia in Honey

When the chebakia are cooked to a medium golden brown, use a slotted spoon or strainer to transfer them from the oil directly to the hot honey. Gently push down on the chebakia to submerge them in the honey, and allow them to soak for 5 to 7 minutes. They’ll turn a rich, glossy amber color as they absorb the honey. In the meantime, you can begin frying another batch of cookies.
Note: The longer you soak the chebakia, the more honey they will absorb, and the sweeter and less crispy they become. How long to soak them is a matter of personal preference. However, too short of a soaking will result in pale-colored chebakia that eventually lose their glossy coating.
When the chebakia have finished soaking, remove them from the honey to a strainer or colander, and allow them to drain for only a few minutes. Gently transfer them while hot to a large platter or tray, and sprinkle the centers with sesame. As you finish soaking other batches of chebakia in the honey, simply drain and add them to the platter in a mound, garnishing each batch with sesame.

You May Also Like

  • 69
    I read a lot of food blogs and subscribe to plenty of recipe "sending" newsletters.  It's pretty hard to escape the inundation of sweet, sugary, chocolate covered goodness that is abundant this time of year.  I know many Muslims do not celebrate Christmas, however my family is not one of them.  Without getting too religious…
    Tags: will, ramadan, dessert
  • 61
    Before I went to Morocco I had never eaten a pistachio. The closest I had come to a pistachio was in the Jello pudding my dad ate. But, once I ate one, well I was hooked - and a little upset that I had missed out on this delicious nut for the first 20 years…
    Tags: ramadan, dessert
  • 54
    Best. Cookies. Ever.  Chewy chocolate chip cookies are one of my very favorite things.  Out of desperation I rummaged through my cupboards in search of chocolate chips, only to find out that there weren't any.  What to do, what to do?  Melt down a 1/4 jar of nutella and make Nutella chips of course! How…
    Tags: dough, minutes, will, teaspoon, cup, dessert
Read more

I think one of my very favorite Moroccan foods is beghrir.  They are light airy pancakes that are cooked only on one side and are incredibly versatile.  I have toyed with the idea of making them savory instead of sweet something like an accompaniment to moo shu chicken (since we don’t do pork).  It hasn’t happened yet but it’s on the back burner!  For now I will stick with the sweet version.

One of the great things about living in the Midwest is wild fruit.  It’s that time of summer where the bushes are full of wild raspberries, huckleberries, thimble berries, blackberries, blueberries, and soon to come pears and apples.  I remember that picking wild fruit was a big part of my childhood and I spent a lot of time with my grandpa and my dad picking fruit.  This past week I was in Upper Michigan with my grandparents and found the raspberries and blueberries in full bloom.  I can’t take credit for the raspberries as my cousin and uncle picked those but the blueberries I did help with!  (I’ll be sharing a recipe for almond blueberry scones with those soon!)  


Onto the beghrir.  I’ve always struggled with the consistency of this batter.  It’s a difficult thing to get right.  This time I used this recipe from Dinners and Dreams with a few minor changes.  It was simple and had a great result.

2 cups fine semolina or cornmeal (preferably semolina)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp dry yeast
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk, warm but comfortable to the touch
2 cups water, warm but comfortable to the touch

<span clas
s="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: small;">Mix all of the ingredients together and beat until blended well.  I didn’t use a blender just a wire wisk and mixed until it started to form a lot of bubbles.  Allow it to rest 20-30 minutes.  Heat a non stick skillet on medium heat until hot, I add a little butter on the first batch to make sure the pan is ready.  Cook on one side until the exposed side is full of little bubbles and dry.  These pancakes only cook on one side.   Traditionally they are served with honey butter but I used nutella and rolled them up and served with some raspberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 


Read more
Tea Time: Date Cookies
A long term project of mine is to learn to make several different kinds of Moroccan cookies.  Moroccan patisseries (cookie/tea shops) are chock-full of small bite-size cookies that can be bought by the plate or by the kilo.  There are women in communities who specifically make these cookies for celebrations.  The one characteristic of these spreads is that they are time consuming, they really are.  Imagine making hundreds of tiny cookies – by hand!  For a large wedding the process takes several days.  One good thing is that not all of the cookies are actually baked – many are raw ingredients that are combined and shaped then eaten.  This recipe is fast and easy to pull together.


1c pitted dates (medjool are my favorite – sweet and soft)
1c blanched, toasted almonds OR 1c almond meal
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp orange blossom water
powdered sugar 

If using whole almonds with skins – boil for 2-3 minutes, drain and squeeze individually to remove the skins.  Toast in a warm oven until browned.  Place in a food processor and process until broken down to a flour like mixture.  

Place dates (alone) in a food processor and blend until broken apart.  Add the almond meal and mix together.    It will come out as a crumbly mixture.  Turn out into a large bowl.  Add in the honey and orange blossom water and mix by hand.  Shape into balls about half the size of a golf ball.  Roll balls in powdered sugar to coat.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge (if they are not all eaten right away!)

You May Also Like

  • 60
    It seems like Ramadan has gone as fast as it crept up.  Today is the last day of fasting .  This week M starts 2nd grade and MarocBaba is back at school too.  I'm looking forward to a more regular schedule but it's only a few weeks before we take off again for Morocco.  I've…
    Tags: fruit, will, almonds, honey, fast, easy, remove, dessert
  • 57
    One day before we moved to Morocco I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting for my appointment and decided to make a list in my phone of things that I wanted to do at some point while we were in Morocco. It was a way to pass time and I really didn't think I…
    Tags: cookies, moroccan, shape, will, powdered, sugar, orange, mix, water, blossom
  • 57
    I've found in the last week that I really have a sweet tooth.  But not for the traditional "sweet" items like cakes, cookies or pies.  I've been eating a lot of fruit.  Blueberries, cherries, melons, peaches you name it they all sound and taste sooo good!  One night when we had company over I thought…
    Tags: fruit, sweet, fast, minutes, food, cookies, good, small, bought, dessert
Read more