At about 4:00pm the streets of Marrakech are flooded with women and their daughters selling treats to tourists and locals alike for afternoon tea. These coconut biscuits were my treat of choice as I love coconut and the hint of orange blossom was an added bonus. Despite being severely overcharged for my first taste, the biscuits still left a sweetness in my mouth.
For a vegan version swap good quality vegan margarine for butter and add 3 tbsp of aquafaba for each egg.
Coconut and orange blossom biscuits
Makes 15-20 biscuits
2 free-range eggs
125g icing sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
250g desiccated coconut
80g fine semolina
2 tbsp orange flower water, more if needed
sliced oranges and dates (optional)
Preheat the oven to 175°C / Gas Mark 4. Lightly oil 2 baking trays.
Beat the eggs with the icing sugar, then add the butter, oil, baking powder, and lemon zest and mix well. Stir in the coconut. Add the semolina and mix to make a moist, crumbly dough which is firm enough to shape into balls. Add more coconut if the dough is not firm enough.
Wet your hands with orange flower water and take enough dough to roll a small ball the size of a golf ball, squeezing the dough first to compact it. Flatten it slightly in your palms to form a thick disc. Roll the disc in icing sugar and place on a greased baking tray.
Repeat the process, wetting your hands with orange flower water each time you form a cookie, until all the dough has been shaped.
Bake the cookies for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with sliced oranges and dates.
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