Ghoribas with Coconut are delicious Moroccan macaroons with a crisp crust. This traditional recipe uses semolina, which perfectly complements the flavor and texture of coconut.
The dough for coconut ghoribas is a bit sticky. I was taught to use orange flower water to keep my hands moist while working with the dough. This helps prevent the dough from sticking to your hands, and it imparts the exotic essence of the orange flower water to the cookies. If you don't have orange flower water, simply oiling your hands or dipping them in water will work fine.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 500 g (about 1 lb. or 5 1/3 cups) finely grated desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
- 160 g (about 1 cup) fine semolina
- 4 eggs
- 250 g (about 9 oz. or 2 cups) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tea glass (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 1/2 tea glass (1/4 cup) melted butter
- zest of 1 lemon (optional, but recommended)
- --- for shaping and decorating ---
- orange flower water
- powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly oil your baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
Beat the eggs with the sugar. Add the butter, oil, baking powder, and lemon zest, and mix well. Stir in the coconut. Add the semolina and mix by hand to make a moist, crumbly dough which is just firm enough to shape into balls. If necessary, add a little more coconut or semolina (or conversely, a little more oil) to achieve a dough of correct consistency.
Wet your hands with orange flower water, and take enough dough to roll a small ball. Squeeze the dough to compact it as you would when molding clay, and then form a ball. Flatten it slightly in your palms to form a thick disc. Roll the disc in powdered sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Repeat the process, wetting your hands with orange flower water each time you form a cookie, until all the dough has been shaped.
Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Don't under bake, or the ghoriba won't have its characteristic crispy exterior.
Transfer the cookies to racks to cool. Store the coconut ghoriba in airtight containers for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to three months.