Hi! We have these neat little Moroccan cookies for you today, Chebakia. These cookies are similar to a number of Korean desserts because they’re not incredibly sweet and have a strong sesame taste to them. Many korean sweets are sesame and honey based or studded in sesame seeds and this Moroccan cookie is super similar to a few different Korean sweets such as Yakgwa and Hangwa. We’ve changed this traditional little dessert up by dipping the cookies in a mix of honey and homemade ginger syrup, rather than the typical honey and orange blossom water combo. We’ve also replaced the almonds for hazelnuts which does change the flavor quite a bit (pine nuts work great too!). These fried cookies are pretty easy to make (don’t be intimidated by the shaping technique) and great to enjoy with a cup of coffee or a mild tea. Surprise your guests with Chebakia: Moroccan Sesame Spice Cookies for a unique little after dinner treat or add these to your next weekend brunch menu!
Moroccan Sesame Spice Cookies (Chebakia)
Makes 18 to 24
1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water plus 2 tablespoons (at about ~110°F)
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil (can substitute extra virgin olive oil)
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 medium egg
glaze and garnish:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 inch knob ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
vegetable oil for frying
1. Preheat oil to 350°F.
2. Place hazelnuts and sesame seeds in a food processor and process until the texture of a fine meal has been achieved.
3. Place mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add flour, cinnamon, cardamom, anise seed, coriander, baking powder, and salt and whisk together.
4. Pour water in a small bowl and top with saffron and yeast. Allow yeast mixture to sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Pour yeast mixture into dry mixture along with remaining dough ingredients. Stir together until dough forms. (if dough is dry add water, 1 tablespoon at a time)
6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a smooth and slightly elastic dough forms, about 6 to 8 minutes.
7. Place dough into a mixing bowl and cover with a clean, damp towel. Set aside and allow to rest, about 20 minutes.
8. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/2 inch thick.
9. For cookies: Cut out 3”x 3” squares (using a fluted pasta cutter, if desired), adding four evenly spaced 1” slits across each square.
10. Take one of the prepared squares and weave the slits through your pointer finger. Take the corners closest to the tip of your finger and pinch them together. Slow pull your finger out of the slits while pulling the pinched end through the center, coming out the other end. Gently open up each side and gently press together. Set aside and repeat until all squares have been shaped.
11. Fry each cookie in the oil, a few at a time, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and repeat until all cookies have been fried. Set aside and allow to cool.
12. For glaze: Place sugar, water and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer and stir. Continue to simmer until sugar has dissolved. Set aside and allow to partially cool, about 30 minutes. Strain into a mixing bowl with honey and stir together.
13. To assemble: Dip each cookie in the honey mixture and shake off any excess glaze. (you can also gently brush glaze onto cookies) Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve.