We’ve already talked about Moroccan food and how mouthwatering it is, but do you want to know what’s even more mouthwatering than Moroccan main courses? That’s right! Moroccan desserts and here are a few to whet your appetite:
01 Halwa Chebakia
Halwa Chebakia is a chewy, crunchy, honey-coated Moroccan sesame cookie made by arranging rolled-out dough into a flower shape, frying it and then dipping it into hot honey flavored with orange flower water. Popular during Ramadan and other special occasions, Moroccan women often ask sisters, mothers, or friends to join them in making large quantities of these Moroccan cookies, as they can take time and effort to prepare.
Sometimes called “milk bastilla”, ktefa is one of the traditional Moroccan pastries where rounds of crispy, paper-thin sheets of fried warqa pastry are stacked into five or six layers and covered with sweetened fried almonds and a custard sauce (crème anglaise or crème patisserie) flavored with orange flower water.
Baghrir is a Moroccan pancake eaten throughout the Maghreb region. Made with semolina or flour, they are small, soft, and spongy, and when made just right, they are riddled with tiny holes so you can soak up the butter and honey or whatever fruit jams or syrups you prefer them to be served with.
Also called sfouf, or sometimes zmita,Moroccan sellou is a rich, nutty confection of ground, fried almonds, ground, toasted and unhulled sesame seeds, and browned flour. The dessert is not cooked; rather, all of the ingredients are combined together as they are. Sellou is also thought to restore vim and vigor, which is probably why it’s traditionally served during Ramadan and other special occasions.
05 Kaab el ghazal
Kaab el Ghazal, literally translated from Moroccan Arabic as “gazelle ankles”, in French, these crescent-shaped cookies are famously known as Cornes de Gazelle or “gazelle horns”. Whatever part of the gazelle they look like to you, you’ll find these delicate, baked-until-barely-golden-brown pastries filled with almond paste, cinnamon and a dash of orange flower water a delicious treat usually served on special occasions.
Although the m’hanncha means “snake” we assure you that there is absolutely no part of any reptile used in this cake; rather, it’s made from rolled phyllo pastry coiled to only look like a serpent. The orange-flower water and cinnamon flavorings are very North African, yet reveal Persian culinary influence in the region. After it’s baked, the cake is often dusted with powdered sugar or brushed with warm honey and garnished with sliced or ground almonds before being served with a cup of sweet mint tea.
These traditional Moroccan twice-baked cookies are often nicknamed “the Moroccan biscotti” and come in both sweet and savory versions. Prepared with shortbread or yeasted dough flavored with orange blossom water, aniseed, or citrus zest, and toasted nuts and dried fruit such as almonds, walnuts, raisins, pistachios, or sesame seeds added to the mix these crunchy treats are best paired with tea or coffee.
Made with flour, sugar, butter, and almonds, ghoriba are a wide variety of traditional Middle Eastern cookies that can be chewy or crumbly and shaped round like balls or flat like discs. You can usually tell ghoriba by the signature cracks that appear across their surface. Best served with Arab coffee or Moroccan tea.
09 Moroccan Orange Cake
Refreshingly sticky and soaked with spiced syrup, this moist and delicious, traditionally summery-type of dessert is perfect without frosting. Just a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of Greek-style yogurt is the perfect topping.
Famously made by street vendors who cook your order on the spot, sfenj are popular Moroccan doughnut-like fritters made from sticky, unleavened dough shaped into rings and deep-fried until it develops a golden, crispy outside and a fluffy, tender inside. These fritters are usually eaten plain or dusted with powdered sugar.
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