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

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.


Casablanca: My Moroccan Food will be published by Mitchell Beazley, price £20. It’s the delicious, inspiring debut from Nargisse Benkabbou, named a rising food star for 2018. Rooted in traditional Moroccan cuisine, the recipes celebrate Nargisse’s heritage and authentic Moroccan spirit while being accessible for modern home cooks. As well as loads of pantry wisdom and easy, essential Moroccan basics, chapters cover starters to share, vegetarian dishes, meat, poultry, seafood, breads and sweets. To order a copy for £15 (a 25 per cent discount) until 13 May visit, or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.