Rose and almond cookies

Recipes for the quintessentially Moroccan cookies known as ghriba vary locally but they all have one thing in common: they are cracked on the outside and chewy on the inside. Flavouring possibilities are endless. The most popular varieties are almond, coconut and walnut. I love these cakey, almondy ghriba subtly scented with rose.

Matt Russell

MAKES 14
300g ground almonds
80g caster sugar
1 heaped tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
30g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp rosewater
100g icing sugar, for coating

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Place all the ingredients except the icing sugar in a large bowl and use your hands or a large spatula to mix them together until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Scoop the dough in single tablespoonfuls and roll each into a ball, then roll each ball in icing sugar until completely coated.
3. Transfer the coated dough balls to the lined baking tray and lightly press each with the palm of your hand, but don’t flatten them completely.
4. Immediately bake for 15-18 minutes until the cookies are cracked and firm on the outside. Remove from the oven and leave to rest on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Store the cookies in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out. They will keep for up to 7 days.

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