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Krichlate, qrishlat, fqiqssat or q’iq’ats (كعيكعات) are crunchy miniature shortbread cookies. They’re sold in Moroccan markets and traditional bakeries throughout the year, but we mostly associate them with Ashura (also Achoura), a day that holds religious meaning for Muslims around the world.
On the occasion of Ashura, krichlate are traditionally served with nuts and dried fruits, either mixed together or alongside each other. This presentation is called fakia, literally from fakiha, fruit in Arabic.
We also serve these tiny biscuits for tea time or as nibbles before a meal. At special events such as a wedding celebration, you may find them served in bowls as part of the table setup.
Moroccan Petite Shortbreads for Ashura - Krichlate or Fkikssate
- Using a manual whisk, mix all liquid ingredients with the sugar and salt.
- Fold in the dry ingredients, leaving the flour for last. Mix with a spatula and finish with your hand to make sure it's fully combined. (It is not ideal to use a food processor in this recipe as you might chop the sesame seeds. However, you can use a regular mixer to combine the ingredients.)
- Shape long rods of dough about 0.4" (1 cm) thick. You can place them in the fridge for 1 hour or 20 min in the freezer to help with the cutting process or you can start cutting straight away after you formed all the rods.
- Start with the first dough rod you shaped. Cut small bits no more than 0.2" inch thick and place them on a lined baking tray. You will need to leave about 0.4" between each krichla.
- Bake at 325° F (160° C) for about 20 minutes or until they look slightly golden.
- Once completely cooled, store in airtight containers. They will keep for 3 weeks, more or less.
- Use the same recipe to make the famous kaak of Safi.
- Depending on the region and the city, krichlate might refer to el gors or Qrachels/Krachels which are enriched and flavored sweet rolls. Fkikssat/Fqiqssat might refer to petite fekkas which requires double baking.