Briouats (also spelled braewats) are small Moroccan pastries which are stuffed with a variety of fillings and then fried. A Moroccan friend introduced me to this simple but incredibly tasty version with cream cheese filling.
The cream cheese filling melts in your mouth, and they've become a family favorite, particularly during the month of Ramadan.
In Morocco, Kiri Cheese is a good substitute for American cream cheese. Add herbs or minced chili peppers if desired.
The recipe's directions call for folding the pastries into triangles. See the photo tutorial How to Fold Briouats.
Serves 6 to 8 as a side or appetizer.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1/2 kg (about 1 lb). cream cheese, Kiri or jben, chilled
- 1/2 kg (about 1 1lb.) warqa, fillo dough or large spring roll wrappers
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- vegetable oil (for frying)
Fold the Briouats
With scissors, cut the pastry dough into strips about two inches wide. Place a single strip of warqa or spring roll wrapper – or two layered strips of phyllo dough – on your work surface.
Lightly brush butter on the bottom two-thirds of the dough. Place a tablespoon of cream cheese towards the bottom of the strip, and fold the bottom up to enclose the filling.
Fold the bottom left corner of the enclosed dough upwards to the right, aligning it with the right edge of the strip. Then flip the bottom right corner upwards to the left, aligning it with the left edge of the dough. You should see a triangle take shape. Continue folding the triangle, flipping right and then left in this manner, until you reach the end of the dough.
Trim any excess length off the edge of the dough, dab it with a little egg yolk, and tuck the end of the dough into the "pocket" formed by the open edge of dough on the briouat. You can use the tip of a butter knife or your scissors to help tuck in the flap of dough.
Fry the Briouats
Heat one inch of oil in a deep skillet or sauce pan. Deep fry the cheese briouats in batches until light golden brown. Drain and serve.
Briouats stay warm for a long time, but if frying them well in advance of serving, you can reheat them in a 350° F (180° C) oven for five to 10 minutes.
Uncooked briouats can be covered and refrigerated for one day, or frozen for up to two months in a freezer bag or plastic storage container. They can be fried directly from the freezer, or allowed to thaw for 30 minutes to one hour before frying.