This variation of the traditional Moroccan almond ghoriba features a sliced almond garnish. A simple syrup glaze after baking adds an appealing sheen to the cookies.
Serve the cookies at tea time or as part of a cookie and sweets spread on special occasions.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Working Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: approx. 60 cookies
- 500 g (about 1 lb.) blanched almonds
- 250 g (about 8 oz.) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- zest from 2 lemons
- vegetable oil (for greasing pans)
- --- for decorating ---
- 2 egg whites
- 100 g (1 cup) blanched sliced almonds
- simple syrup glaze (directions below)
Pass the almonds through a meat grinder twice to make an almond paste, or grind them as finely as possible in a food processor. Set aside.
Beat the eggs with the powdered sugar and baking powder for several minutes, or until the mixture turns white. Add the ground almonds, butter, vanilla and lemon zest, and mix well by hand to form a dough.
Oil your hands, and shape the dough into one-inch balls. Dip the balls in the egg whites and then in the sliced almonds. Place the cookies almond-side up on greased baking pans and very slightly flatten the dough.
Bake the cookies, one pan at at time, in a 350°F (175°C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the almonds are golden and the cookie has a slightly crispy crust.
Allow the cookies to rest a few minutes on the pan. Brush the tops of the cookies with the syrup glaze and transfer the cookies to racks to cool. Store the ghoriba in airtight containers for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to three months.
Simple Syrup Glaze
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water. Stir constantly over low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer without stirring for several minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.