Chebakia and white chocolate cookies

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Oh la la, it’s already December! Have you started planning your meals for the holiday season? For now, I am pretty sure that chermoula oysters and turkey, cranberry & chestnut tagine will be on the menu. I am really struggling to find new canapés or bite-size-thingies ideas. Any tips welcomed!

These cookies. For those who have my book, you probably came across something that reminds you of them, their older cousin: my ‘chebakia sugar cookie’! Chebakia is a delicious pastry that Moroccans enjoy during Ramadan. It really is delicious and wonderful but it’s quite time consuming so whenever I had been having a craving for it, I made my chebakia sugar cookie. It has all the flavours of the chebakia contained in an easy to make and quick sugar cookie.

I happen to be a serious chocolate chunk cookie aficionado so lately I experimented a white chocolate version of my chebakia sugar cookie. The goal was to create a white chocolate chunk version of it with the same flavours but more chocolate-chunky and super comforting. The white chocolate adds sweetness and texture to the cookie and I don’t think I will ever look back. The recipe is based on Adrianna Adarme’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. She is the queen of cookie recipes and I am pretty sure she is the very reason there’s always a batch of ready to be baked cookies in my freezer.

If you’re looking for nicely spiced and sweet cookies to serve your guests before the end of the year, you won’t be disappointed with these chebakia and white chocolate cookies!

And for those who are looking for the perfect gateway in Marrakech and entered the giveaway in collaboration with Dar Jaguar a few weeks ago, don’t forget that you qualify for a 15% discount off rooms and special Christmas packages! All you have to do is quote “Nargisse”.

Happy everything!

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Chebakia and white chocolate cookies

Makes 24 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  • 430gr plain flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground aniseed

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 250ml unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 

  • 200gr brown sugar

  • 90gr granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 200gr white chocolate pieces (chunks or chips)

  • 4 tablespoons clear honey

  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water 

METHOD  

Use a pestle and a mortar or coffee grinder (or a small food processor) to finely ground the sesame seeds. Take care not to overgrind them, otherwise they could turn into sesame seed butter.  

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, aniseed and turmeric together. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, add in the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar  and beat together with a hand-held electric whisk (or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) for about 2–3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and beat once more.

In one batch, add the flour and mix on a low speed until everything is incorporated – be careful not to overmix as this will make the cookies quite tough. Pour in the chocolate chunks and mix one last time. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 2 and up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 170 C (350 F). Scoop the dough in single tablespoonfuls and place the cookies on a lined baking tray, leaving at least 5cm between each of them, and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes until the edges are lightly golden brown and the centre is a bit soft. Remove from the oven and leave the cookies to rest on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely – if you try to remove them sooner, you may damage the cookies.

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