DOUBLE-BAKED ANISE AND SESAME SEED COOKIES fekkas beldi

These crunchy biscotti-like cookies are perfect served with Mint Tea (page 210) or
Spiced Coffee (page 209). Pâtisseries prepare them with almonds, dates, raisins, or
dried figs, but this recipe is the classic Moroccan version. The alluring orange flower
water aroma and sesame seed and anise flavors make clear why many add the suffix
beldi, meaning “local” or “of the country.”
After the first baking, the logs need to be cooled completely before they are sliced and
baked a second time. Allow perhaps a couple of hours for this.

2 large eggs, plus 1 egg white, lightly beaten
6 Tbsp/90 g sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp orange flower water
13⁄4 cups/250 g all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
About 1⁄3 cup/40 g toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp aniseed
1 pinch salt

Oil for moistening hands

Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C/gas mark 4.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and
sugar, and then work in the butter and orange
flower water. In another mixing bowl, blend the
flour, baking powder, sesame seeds, aniseed, and
salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture,
mixing to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
Working with oiled hands to keep the dough
from sticking, divide the dough in half. Roll into
two logs about 1B⁄c in/4 cm in diameter. Place the
logs on the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush,
lightly paint with the egg white.
Bake the logs until golden and firm but still a
bit soft to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer
the logs and the parchment paper to a rack to
cool completely.

Again preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C/
gas mark 4.
With a bread knife, cut the logs diagonally
into B⁄c-in-/12-mm-thick slices. Reline the baking
sheet as well as a second sheet with parchment
paper. Spread the cookies flat on the sheets.
Bake until golden and crunchy, turning once if
needed, about 15 minutes. Cool on racks. Store
in an airtight container at room temperature for
up to 1 week

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