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

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

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

YUCCA CHEESE BREAD

1 1/4 cups tapioca starch/flour

1/2 cup milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon unrefined brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

Blend all the ingredients in an electric blender until you obtain a smooth, homogeneous batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin filling each cup about halfway.

Bake until golden and puffy, 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Eat warm. Reheat leftover breads before eating.

Makes 8

Adapted from different sources, mainly Simplyrecipes.com.

MAPLE POTS DE CREME

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place four ramekins in a baking pan.

Bring the cream, maple syrup and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Slowly add the cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Divide the mixture among the ramekins. Fill the baking pan with hot water until it comes halfway up the ramekins.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Take the ramekins out of the baking pan and cool at room temperature. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Serves 4

Adapted from Eggs on Sunday

PECAN TORTE

2 cups shelled pecans
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch springform or non-stick tart pan.

In a food processor, grind the pecans to a coarse meal.

In a large bowl, combine the ground pecans with salt. Whisk in the honey, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan . Bake until set and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

Serves 8

BAKED STUFFED APPLES

4 Gala, or other baking variety, apples
¼ cup chopped dates
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut oil or unsalted butter, divided in four
1 cup apple juice or cider


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Core the apples, making a hole about an inch wide, removing all seeds and leaving the bottom intact.

Combine the dates, raisins and walnuts with the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Stuff each apple with the fruit and nut mixture and mound some on top. Place a quarter of the butter on each apple.

Place the apples and the apple juice in a rimmed baking pan pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Discard the foil. Baste the apples with the pan juices and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whip cream.

Serves 4

BAKED OATMEAL

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen raspberries
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup sliced almonds, optional


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven. Butter an 8×8 cake pan.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Toss in the raspberries and chopped apple.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg and vanilla extract.

Add the milk mixture to the oat mixture and lightly fold to moisten the oats. Transfer into the prepared pan. Scatter the sliced almonds on top, if using.

Bake until the surface is golden and the oatmeal looks almost as set as a cake, 30 minutes. Let it cool a little.

*If you don’t like coconut, use 1 1/3 cups oats instead of the suggested 1 cup oats and 1/3 cup coconut.

Serves 4 to 6

STEWED CHERRIES & ALMOND GRANITA

For the cherries
2 cups cherries, stemmed
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 small cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon almond extract

For the granita
2 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1/8 teaspoon almond extract


To make the stewed cherries, place all the ingredients for the cherries in a medium saucepan.
Simmer over medium heat until the cherries are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate until serving time.

Combine the almond milk, agave syrup and almond extract in a rectangular plastic container fitted with a tight lid. Freeze for 2 hours.

Remove from the freezer and crush with a fork. Cover with the lid and freeze again for at least 2 hours.

At serving time, place the cherries in the bottom of a glass or bowl. Using a fork, crush the granita, making long vigorous raking motions. Spoon the crushed granita over the cherries.

Enjoy right away.

Serves 4

ESPRESSO MASCARPONE-STUFFED DATES

12 Medjool dates, pitted
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon agave syrup
3 teaspoons espresso or strong coffee
2 tablespoons shaved chocolate


Delicately clean the dates with a damp paper towel.

In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, agave syrup and espresso.

Stuff each date with about a tablespoon of the coffee flavored mascarpone.

Top with shaved chocolate.