We’ve already talked about Moroccan food and how mouthwatering it is. However, 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:
Halwa Chebakia is a chewy, crunchy, honey-coated Moroccan sesame cookie. Moroccans make it by arranging rolled-out dough into a flower shape, frying it and then dipping it into hot honey flavored with orange flower water. It is popular during Ramadan and other special occasions. Moroccan women often ask sisters, mothers, or friends to join them in making large quantities of these cookies.
Sometimes called “milk bastilla”, ktefa is one of the traditional Moroccan pastries. Rounds of crispy, paper-thin sheets of fried warqa pastry is stacked into five or six layers. Then, cover with sweetened fried almonds and a custard sauce (crème anglaise or crème patisserie) flavored with orange flower water.
Baghrir is a Moroccan pancake people eat throughout the Maghreb region. Made with semolina or flour, they are small, soft, and spongy. When just right, they have tiny holes to soak up the butter and honey or other toppings.
Also under the name of sfouf, or sometimes zmita, Moroccan sellou is a rich, nutty confection of ground almonds, ground and unhulled sesame seeds, and browned flour. The dessert is not cooked. Rather, Moroccans combine all of the ingredients together as they are. Sellou is also thought to restore vim and vigor. Probably why you can traditionally see it during Ramadan and other special occasions.
Kaab el ghazal
Kaab el Ghazal (literally “gazelle ankles”), in French, these crescent-shaped cookies are famous as Cornes de Gazelle or “gazelle horns”. You’ll find these delicate, baked-until-barely-golden-brown pastries filled with almond paste, cinnamon and a dash of orange flower water.
Although the m’hanncha means “snake” we assure you that there is absolutely no part of any reptile used in this cake. Rather, the rolled phyllo pastry only looks like a serpent. The orange-flower water and cinnamon flavorings are very North African, yet reveal Persian culinary influence in the region. After baking, Moroccans often dust powdered sugar or brush warm honey and garnish it with almonds before serving it with a cup of sweet mint tea.
You can call these traditional Moroccan cookies “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.
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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