In the pastry world, Moroccan desserts are the underrated, little-known offspring of their better-known Greek and Turkish counterparts. Locally-sourced products—including organic honey, Taliouine saffron, caraway seeds, and almond paste—are heavily used. These delectable treats can be found nearly everywhere in Morocco, at local pastry shops tucked throughout the old medinas and even in the Frenchified villes nouvelles.
Briouates come in both savory and sweet varieties. The sweet version is a deep-fried, triangle-shaped dough packed with almond paste and orange blossom water and dipped in sticky, delicious honey.
Corne de gazelles are delicate, soft, crescent-shaped cookies that look a bit like gazelle horns—thus the name. Like briouates, these delicacies are stuffed with almond paste and a touch of orange blossom water and often sprinkled with sesame seeds or toasted almonds.
F’kas are a lot like biscotti biscuits made to accompany tea or coffee, but drier. The lightly toasted almond flavor and crumbliness are a sinfully delicious afternoon snack.
Ghriba, generally found in small rounds, are the most modest of Moroccan treats. But when made with good butter, they have the pleasantness of a cookie, with toasted sesame and caraway for an added zest.
Ma’amuls are round cookies stuffed with ground dates and lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Because they are the most popular desert to feature dates, they’re often thought of as one of the more classic Moroccan delicacies.
Shebakia is a pretzel of deep-fried sesame dough, drizzled with organic honey. There are entire shops dedicated to the art of perfecting the shebakia. Sales of this treat spike tremendously during the holy month of Ramadan, adding to the popularity of this Moroccan treat.
With finger-licking desserts like these, it’s no wonder Moroccans have such a sweet tooth! The best part about these treats are that they are not expensive and can easily be packed to share with family and friends at home. You will likely order by weight and can usually get a pound (about half a kilo) of cookies for less than $5. Buying sweets by the pound? Now that is delicious.
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