GINGERBREAD MUFFINS

½ cup unsulphured dark molasses (preferably not blackstrap)
½ cup sour cream
½ stick (4 tbsps) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
½ cup unrefined brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange or apple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-muffin muffin pan with paper liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the molasses with the sour cream, butter, eggs, brown sugar, orange juice and vanilla extract until well combined.

Sift the dry the ingredients (the rest) into  a bowl, add them to the wet ingredients and mix again until you obtain a homogeneous batter.

Distribute the batter among the 12 cups. Bake until set, 15 to 18 minutes.

 

Serves 12

GLUTEN-FREE BLONDIES

¾ cup almond butter or natural peanut butter, at room temp

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

½ cup honey

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 cup minus 1 tablespoon white rice flour

1 tablespoon tapioca starch

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

 


 

Position the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch square pan and line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the almond butter, softened butter, honey, and vanilla until well incorporated. Add the eggs and whisk until you obtain a smooth and shiny batter.

Whisk the flour, tapioca starch, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Fold the flour mixture into the almond butter mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes or until the blondie is set and the top is crunchy.

Let cool. Unmold and cut into squares.

Serves 8

gluten-free blondies with almond butter and chocolate

GREEN HARISSA RECIPE

8 Serrano peppers, stems and seeds removed
1 medium bunch cilantro, thick stems removed
4 garlic cloves
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt

 


Process the peppers, cilantro, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a food processor until very smooth. Add the cumin and salt, and pulse again a few times to combine.

 

Transfer to a jar and top with a thin film of olive oil. Close the jar tightly and refrigerate. It will keep for up to 6 weeks.

 

Makes about 1 cup.

green harissa recipe

SFOUF

Sfouf, also called sellou or slillou, is a nutty toasted snack made during Ramadan. It is in coarse powder form and packed with nutritious ingredients, which are supposed to give fasters stamina, like an energy bar. It is eaten with a spoon, a bit like dry cereal from a bowl.
1 cup whole wheat or brown rice flour
2/3 cup sesame seeds
2/3 cup lightly salted roasted almonds or peanuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon anise seed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

 


 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the flour in the skillet and toast it, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and nutty smelling, about 10 minutes. There will be a lot of smoke emanating from it, which is not to worry about. Transfer to a large bowl. (If using a larger quantity of flour, you’ll need to toast it longer.)

Toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

Place the sesame seeds, almonds, brown sugar, anise seed and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor and grind them into a coarse powder. Add this mixture to the toasted flour and mix.

Stir in the melted butter and toss a couple of times to break any lumps. Serve at room temperature in small bowls and enjoy by the spoonful.

Serves 4
sfouf

GRAPEFRUIT LAYER CAKE

You can cut the ingredients for both the cake and the frosting in half to make a one-layer instead of a two-layer cake. If you’re not a fan of grapefruit, feel free to substitute oranges.

 


For two cakes

2 medium firm grapefruits

8 eggs

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup canola oil

3/4 cup grapefruit juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups unrefined brown sugar

1 1/2 cups coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

 

For the frosting

2 (8-ounce) packages fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature

Half the grated grapefruit zest (reserved from the beginning of the recipe)

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon agave syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper.

Grate the zest of one grapefruit. Divide it in two (one half for the cake, the other for the frosting). Save both grapefruits for later segmenting.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, butter, oil, grapefruit juice, half the grapefruit zest, vanilla and sugar until well combined. Whisk the coconut flour, salt and baking powder together in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat again.

Divide the batter equally among the two prepared pans. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and a skewer comes out clean, 35 minutes. Let cool then unmold.

Prepare the frosting by whisking all the ingredients for the frosting in an electric mixer until smooth.

Fill and frost the cake. Refrigerate the cake 20 to 30 minutes to let the frosting set.

To segment the grapefruits, cut off the top and bottom to give a stable base, trim the skin and pith and cut out the segments onto a plate using a paring knife. Arrange the grapefruit segments on top of the cake.
Serves 16

WARM GRAPEFRUIT TEA

This grapefruit tea is very tasty with warming vanilla and pepper flavors. Some people use warm grapefruit tea for detox and weight loss but the taste alone is sufficient to make it.

 

1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice

1 inch vanilla bean, split and scraped*

5 peppercorns

Honey, to taste (optional)

 


 

Place all the ingredients except the honey in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Discard the vanilla and peppercorns. Taste and sweeten with honey, if you wish. Serve warm.

*Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape its seeds with a paring knife. Add both the bean and the seeds to the juice.

 

Makes 1 cup

BAGHRIR

‘Baghrir,’ aka, ‘thousand-hole pancakes’ are almost lacy with holes throughout the surface. They are traditionally topped with a warm sauce of melted butter and honey that gets completely soaked up into the holes, yielding moist, pleasantly soggy pancakes. Chopped nuts and dried fruits make an excellent garnish for these pancakes.

 

For the baghrir
2 cups fine semolina or cornmeal (preferably semolina)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk, warm but comfortable to the touch

2 cups water, warm but comfortable to the touch

 

For the syrup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup honey (preferably orange blossom)


Add all the ingredients for the baghrir to the container of a blender and blend until a homogenous batter is obtained. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, cover and allow to rest 30 minutes.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat until very hot. Stir the batter, pour a ladleful of batter onto the skillet and cook until its surface is porous and the batter dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Baghrir cooks on only one side so there is no need to turn it over. Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter.

Prepare the syrup by melting the butter and honey over low heat until hot and sizzling, 2 to 4 minutes. Top the baghrir liberally with syrup and serve immediately.

Store remaining baghrir coverered in the refrigerator and reheat it before use.

Makes 8 to 12

PIGEON PEA PATTIES

If you like falafels, you will like these patties as well. They are very similar.

1 (15-oz) can pigeon peas, rinsed and drained
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
10 sprigs parsley
10 springs cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a baking pan with oil or spray it with cooking spray.

Place the pigeon peas, garlic, onion, parsley and cilantro in a food processor and process until reduced to a paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cornstarch until well blended.

Shape the mixture into small balls or patties, the size of a golf ball. Place them in the prepared pan and bake them until lightly browned, 25 minutes. If you wish to brown the top and harden the crust more, broil them on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve them with this Moroccan Yogurt Dip.
Makes 8 small patties.

SPICED YOGURT DIP

1 cup plain yogurt (or strained yogurt for a thicker consistency)

1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or finely chopped mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

A pinch of cayenne pepper

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 


 

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir them well to combine the flavors. Serve alongside vegetables, falafels or chips.

 
Makes 1 cup

WHOLE WHEAT MOROCCAN BISCOTTI

These cookies are twice-baked and known in Morocco as fekkas. They are crunchy and totally delightful.

1/4 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup honey (or brown sugar)

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

1 cup whole wheat flour (or 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup pistachios or almonds, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons sesame seeds*

1 1/2 tablespoons aniseeds*

 


 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Soak the raisins until plump, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

Mix the oil, honey or sugar, and almond extract in a large bowl. Beat in the egg.

Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix with you hands until well combined. Mix in the raisins, pistachios or almonds, sesame seeds, and aniseeds.

Shape the dough into a 10- to 12-inch log. Wet your hands with cold water if the dough becomes too sticky.

Bake on the prepared cookie sheet until risen and firm, 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the log diagonally into ½ to ¾-inch slices.

Place back on the cookie sheet and bake until hard, 6 to 7 minutes per side.

 

* If you prefer you can toast your seeds for a few minutes before adding them to the dough.

 

Makes 15 to 20 cookies

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