Among Moroccan sweets, ghriba cookies stand out for their distinctive cracked surfaces.
There are ghribas with almonds, with sesame seeds, with aniseeds, and these,
a favorite, made largely with walnuts. With their rich, nutty taste and chewy texture,
they are an ideal accompaniment to a plate of Oranges with Orange Flower Water and
Cinnamon (page 190) or Orange Slices with Anise, Ginger, and Golden Raisins (page 192)
and cups of Spiced Coffee (page 209).
1 large egg
1⁄2 Tbsp butter, softened
1⁄4 cup/50 g granulated sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
21⁄4 cups/225 g walnut pieces, coarsely ground
Powdered sugar for dredging and dusting
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg and butter,
and then blend in the granulated sugar and
cinnamon. In a small mixing bowl, mix together
the flour and baking powder and work into the
batter along with the walnuts. Mix to form a
consistent, smooth dough. Cover and refrigerate
Preheat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C/gas
Place the powdered sugar in a bowl. Line a
baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the dough into 1-in/2.5-cm balls. Roll the
balls in the powdered sugar and place on the baking
sheet, spacing them about 1 in/2.5 cm apart.
Bake for 4 minutes, rotate the sheet, and bake
until the cookies are golden and firm at the edges
and cracked on the surface but soft in the center,
another 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the
sheet, then transfer to a rack. If desired, dust
with more powdered sugar before serving.