We Moroccans love anything made with almonds, whether in cooking or baking. These crescent-shaped almond cookies are a great Moroccan favorite, called ghriba. Consider them theMoroccan cousins of shortbread cookies.
Traditionally we make them round and top them with a little cinnamon sprinkle.
I am including the Traditional Basic Ghriba recipe here as well. This Moroccan Almond Cookies variation takes some poetic license. A welcome the change of pace: in terms of both shape and ingredients.
These melt-in-your-mouth almond cookies are totally suitable for gluten-free. Any good quality gluten-free flour you will choose will work well for this recipe.
Vegan Almond Cookies
They are vegan without even trying. Be sure to use unpeeled almonds: the almond peels pack lots of flavor. A larger bag will be more cost effective. Store it in the freezer after opening.
- 1 cup natural margarine spread (health food stores)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups flour: all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or spelt (gluten-free: use any GF flour—I make mine with chickpea flour)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup sliced unpeeled almonds
- Powdered sugar for dusting the cookies
Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a food processor, cream the margarine and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the flour, salt, and almond extract and pulse just 2-3 times. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the almonds and mix by hand only until the dough comes together in a ball. Form small crescents. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake about 20 minutes, until just golden. Do not allow the cookies to get dark, or they will toughen. Sift some powdered sugar, using a small strainer, over the cookies while still warm.
Store at room temperature in an airtight cookie tin.