Bahla means silly in Moroccan Arabic (or dumb? this word is kind of hard to translate!) and I don’t know why they call it that way. I guess it’s due to the fact that the cookie ridiculously cracks while baking and gloriously melts in your mouth while eating it, pretty much like a shortbread cookie. Usually ghriba bahla contains only sesame seeds (on top of butter, flour, sugar, etc.) but I added some peanut butter, just because.
Since it’s still pretty warm in London I decided to partner my peanut silly ghriba aka Moroccan shortbread with something refreshing and satisfying; it had to be ice cream.
I don’t have an ice cream maker at home and I was going to buy some ice cream for this recipe but I had a quick look online and found sooo many no-churn ice cream recipes. I chose to adapt Nigella Lawson’s salted caramel bourbon ice cream recipe, because it’s amazingly easy and quick, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare and you just have to wait for it to freeze to be able to enjoy it. I choose to add some ground anis to give the ice cream a subtle liquorish (morroc-ish?) taste. I loved it! But if you don’ like the taste of liquorish then just discard the anise from the recipe, it will still be a super tasty salted caramel ice cream.
The combinaison of the silly peanut ghriba and salted caramel and anise is great! The ice cream sandwich refreshingly melts in your mouth and it is packed with flavours, perfect for summertime!
p.s: I know I could have bought an ice cream maker and I should, but it’s London. Where will I put it, storage room? No, cause then I will forget I actually own one.
No Churn Ice Cream Shortbread Sandwich – Salted Caramel and AnisE Ice Cream + Peanut Silly Ghriba
NO churn SALTED CARAMEL AND ANISE ICE CREAMN
Makes 720 ml
- 400 ml double cream
- 397 grams carnation caramel or dulce de leche
- 2 teaspoons salt flakes (such as maldon salt) or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground anise or more to taste
• In a large bowl use an electric mixer to bring the double cream to stiff peaks. It will take about 5 minutes so be patient but make sure you don’t over whisk the double cream as it might curdle (if it happens, add a bit of milk and slowly whisk again).
• In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together and gently fold into the whipped cream. Transfer into a 1 litre container and cover. Put in the freezer until frozen and firm, about 5 hours.
• I recommend crushing the salt flakes to make them smaller before mixing them with the ingredients.
• To make ground anise, run the anise seeds through a coffee/nut grinder and sift through a fine sieve to collect the ground anise.
• While tasting the ice cream before freezing it, keep in mind that it will taste less sweet and less salty once frozen.
Peanut Silly Ghriba- PEANUT AND SESAME MOROCCAN SHORTBREAD COOKIE
Makes 12 5 cm ghribas
- 130 gr unsalted butter, softened
- 25 ml flavourless oil such as sunflower or canola oil
- 70 gr all natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 140 gr plain flour
- 70 gr caster sugar
- 30 gr sesame seeds roasted and ground
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
• Preheat oven to 200 C (390 F)
• In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients. In a another bowl mix all the wet ingredients with an electric whisk until smooth.
• Transfer the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until you've reached a dough consistency. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until soft and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
• Divide the dough into 12 balls, place them on a lined baking sheet and lightly flatten them with the palm of your hands. Leave some room between the ghribas when placing them in the tray, as they will get slightly bigger while baking. Transfer in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. You will notice that the ghribas will start cracking very quickly after you place them in the warm oven, it’s normal, that is exactly what is supposed to happen.
• Leave the cookies inside the pan until they have completely cooled down before removing them from the pan (they might break if you handle them while they are still warm). Enjoy with a glass of Moroccan mint tea or with salted caramel and anise ice cream as a sandwich,
• When making the dough balls you might notice that the dough tends to crumble, it's okay, just keep rolling it until it becomes smooth.
• If you use a store bought peanut butter that contains salt, discard salt from the recipe.
• To roast sesame seeds, place them in a warm oven (200 c - 390 F) for 5 -7 min until golden.
Ice cream sandwich: ASSEMBLING
• Place a small spoonful of ice cream at the back of a ghriba, make sure you place it at the centre and it doesn’t touch the edges of the cookie (otherwise it will spill), top with another ghriba and gently press to make a sandwich.
• Make sure the ice cream is completely frozen when you start asembling the sandwiches. Enjoy directly or cover with cling film and store in the freezer for up to two weeks. Decorate with sprinkles, cause it makes everything prettier!