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Ghriebas or ghoribas with evaporated milk are soft-textured, cake-like Moroccan cookies flavored with lemon zest. They’re easy to make and perfect for an afternoon snack or tea time.
As the name suggests, evaporated milk is an essential ingredient in the dough. In Morocco, you’ll find it sold as lait concentré non-sucre under the brand name Purisima.
Get your kids involved by having them roll and shape the dough. I suggest making the cookies small or in petite form to keep them elegant enough for company. For variety, you can dip all or some of the cookies in orange flower water and then coconut before baking. Once baked, the cookies are garnished with a simple dusting of powdered sugar.
You might be tempted to serve them right away, but I find that the texture and flavor of Ghoriba au Lait Concentré improve overnight.
Moroccan Cookies with Evaporated Milk - Ghoriba au Lait Concentré (Purisima)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup unsweetened evaporated milk (Purisima)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 to 2 tsp vanilla (or 1 to 2 envelopes vanilla-flavored sugar)
- zest from 1 or 2 lemons
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 1/2 cups flour (more if needed)
- powdered sugar
- orange flower water
- desiccated coconut
- There's no need for an electric mixer as the dough is quite easy to mix by hand.
- In a large bowl, use a large spoon to beat together the eggs, oil, powdered sugar, baking powder, vanilla, lemon zest and salt. When the mixture is smooth, stir in just enough flour to make a soft, manageable dough that can be shaped into balls.
- Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Take small portions of dough and roll them into small balls the size of walnuts. Flatten each ball by gently pressing or patting it into a thick disc shape. (If you like, at this point you can dip the dough in orange flower water and then in coconut.) Place the shaped dough on the lined baking sheets, spaced about two inches (5 cm) apart.
- Bake the cookies, one pan at a time, for about 15 minutes, until lightly colored or pale golden. Remove from the oven and transfer the parchment paper with the cookies to a rack to cool.
- Use a strainer or sifter to dust the cookies with powdered sugar. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the freezer for up to two months.