Despite their name of Ghoribas with Honey, these little Moroccan cake-style cookies aren’t too sweet, making them a simple, satisfying treat to offer alongside tea or coffee. With their citrus zest flavor and soft texture, they remind me of madeleines in cookie form.
As with a number of other ghoriba cookies, the ones with honey are quick and easy to prepare. You’ll want to keep them on your list of recipes which can be prepared on short notice for unexpected company or last-minute after school snacks. Warming the honey briefly in the microwave or stove top will make it easy to incorporate into the dough. If you don’t have fresh lemons or oranges on hand for the zest, additional vanilla can be added to the cookies for extra flavor.
In many Moroccan homes, a tea glass is used as the traditional measure for ingredients, but I’m also listing US and metric measures for convenience. I recommend shaping the cookies on the petite side, but they can be made larger if you prefer; just allow slightly longer baking time.
An easy-to-make Moroccan cookie with cake-like texture and lemon or orange zest flavor.
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg white (reserve the yolk)
- 1/3 cup sugar (1/2 tea glass)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (1/2 tea glass)
- 1 tsp vanilla (or 1 sachet vanilla sugar)
- 3 tbsp honey, warmed but not hot
- 2 2/3 c flour, plus additional if necessary (4 tea glasses
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 or 2 lemons (or 1 orange)
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
With an electric mixer or by hand, beat together the whole eggs, egg white and sugar until thick.
Beat in the oil and vanilla, then stir in the warm honey.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir to blend the dry ingredients into the wet, just until you form a soft dough that can easily be molded into balls. Do not over mix. Add a little more flour if necessary, but avoid making the dough stiff.
Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Break off small portions of dough and shape into small 1 1/4 balls. (Squeezing the portions of dough back and forth in the palm of your hand before shaping will help smooth the dough so that the baked cookies look nicer.)
Place the balls of dough about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets and brush lightly with the beaten egg yolk.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a rich golden color. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.
Once completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container. They'll stay fresh at room temperature for several days or in the freezer for up to two months.