Just before COVID became a worldwide pandemic, I had offered to prepare a Moroccan dinner for a charity fundraiser. And last week, almost three years later, it finally happened — outdoors, on our patio —and it was amazing. That was because all the recipes I used came from native Moroccan cooks. The warm spices, the colors, and the textures all made the menu a sensual delight. All we needed was a palm tree to complete the picture since we certainly had the heat this summer.
But life is short, so let’s start with dessert. Of course, there had to be mint tea and Medjool dates, but among the prepared offerings were two classics of the Moroccan menu. Orange slices with orange blossom water and cinnamon s
ugar were super easy to make, and so refreshing. I was worried that the orange blossom water would be too perfume-y, but it just added a hint of North Africa nights.
And then there were the almond crescent cookies. Made with both all-purpose flour and almond flour, vanilla and almond extract, and all rolled in confectioner’s sugar, these little moon-shaped, melt-in-the-mouth goodies were undeniably among the most delicious things I had ever tasted.
Here is the cookie recipe. Please let me know how you like them!
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour (not almond meal!)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Beat the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix.
Add the flour and almond flour. Mix thoroughly.
Add enough water, a tablespoon at a time, so that you can form a ball with the dough.
Form the dough into crescent shapes:
Take generous tablespoons of the dough \ and roll it into a small ball, about an inch in diameter, and then shape into a crescent shape.
Place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until bottoms are a light golden brown.
While still hot, roll each cookie in confectioner’s sugar.
Cool completely, then roll each cookie again in the sugar.