Desserts are the most awaited and irresistible part of any meal. From kids to adults, everyone enjoys having them. Unlike other cuisines where the dessert is served at the end of a meal, Moroccan desserts can be consumed during any time of the day. In fact, fresh fruit is the traditional ending to their meal. Lots of Moroccan cookies and pastries also serve as delectable desserts.
These desserts are known to be exceptionally sweet, as lots of sugar and honey are used in their preparation. Another important ingredient used in these desserts is almonds, which are often ground and added to any kind of dough to give it a special flavor. Likewise, cinnamon is the most commonly used spice in almost all of their desserts, dough, and stuffing.
Sesame Seed Cookies
- 1¼ cups, all-purpose flour
- ½ cup, softened butter
- ½ cup, white sugar
- ½ cup, brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon, baking powder
- ½ cup, sesame seeds
- ¼ teaspoon, salt
- 1, egg
Take a mixing bowl and combine the butter with the white and brown sugars. Beat the egg into the mixture and add the vanilla extract to it; mix well. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir these dry ingredients into the wet mixture, until they are fully combined.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in sesame seeds, until all sides are coated. Keep each ball on a cookie sheet and flatten them using a wooden spoon. Bake the cookies at 375 °F for 8-10 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Serve while they are warm.
Baked Figs with Dates
- ¾ cup, figs (finely chopped and dried)
- ¾ cup, dates (finely chopped)
- ½ cup, almonds (finely chopped and toasted)
- 3 tablespoons, honey
- ½ teaspoon, vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon, brown sugar (dissolved in a cup of hot water)
- 4 sheets, phyllo pastry
- 4 tablespoons, melted butter
- A pinch of salt
- Icing sugar (for dusting)
- Creme fraiche (for serving)
Take a bowl and mix the figs, dates, almonds, honey, vanilla, and salt, together. Pour the warm sugary water over the mixture and combine well. Cover the mixture and leave it to soak, overnight. Preheat the oven to 392 °F. Line a flat baking dish with parchment paper. On a clean and flat surface, spread one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush its surface with the melted butter. Layer it with the other three sheets, while buttering each one.
Layer the fruit and nut filling on the topmost sheet, and slowly roll the layers together, folding in the edges to seal it off. Transfer the roll to a baking sheet, brush the surface with a little more melted butter, and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until it turns golden brown. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. Before serving, dust the roll lightly with the icing sugar, and serve with chilled creme fraiche.
- 2 cups, ground almonds
- 4 tablespoons, sugar
- ¼ teaspoon, cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons, sweet unsalted butter
- 12 sheets, phyllo dough
- 1, egg yolk (beaten)
- ½ cup, peanut oil (for frying)
- 3 tablespoons, honey (warmed)
- 1, egg
Take a bowl and combine the almonds, sugar, and cinnamon. To a saucepan, melt the butter and add the almond mixture. Stir well, until the mixture browns slightly, and then remove it from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool, and then beat the egg into it. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 °F.
Spread the phyllo sheets and spoon the mixture on each one, individually. Flatten the dollop of the mixture on the first sheet. Lift one corner of the sheet and fold it, diagonally. It should look like a triangle. Then, lifting either corner of the triangle, repeat the previous step. Pinch the phyllo layers of the triangle's base and brush the egg yolk along the edge to seal it. Keep it aside. Work with the other sheets in the same way.
Heat the oil on a medium flame and fry the triangles on both sides for 1-2 minutes. Then, bake the triangles in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a serving plate and pour the warm honey over them.