Cranberry and Pistachio Fekkas

I posted a classic recipe for this delicious Moroccan tea biscuit earlier on the blog (Fekkas (Moroccan Tea Biscuits)). However, you can vary the classic recipe to your liking and one variety I particularly love is this one with juicy cranberries and sweet green pistachios. So I decided to share this variety as well.

Sanni

IMG_3266

Ingredients:

  • 40 grams of sesame seeds (peeled) + 1 tablespoon for decoration
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 110 grams of Muscovado sugar
  • 115 grams of butter, very soft
  • 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon of anise, ground
  • 400 grams of (cake) flour (German type 405)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tip of a knife of salt
  • 60 grams of green pistachio kernels + ca. 30 kernels for decoration
  • 100 grams of dried cranberries
  • For the glaze: 1 small egg, 1 tablespoon of water, 1 teaspoon of icing sugar

Preparation:

  1. In a non-stick frying pan, lightly roast the sesame seed on medium to high heat (no oil added!). Set aside and let cool down completely. Set aside 1 tablespoon for decoration.
  2. Beat the eggs with the sugar until creamy.
  3. Beat in the butter, the orange blossom water and the ground anise.
  4. Pass the flour and the baking powder through a fine sieve. Together with the salt, fold into the egg mix, and beat approximately 1 to 2 more minutes with an electric mixer (kneading hooks) until well mixed.
  5. With a wooden spoon or a dough spatula, gently fold in the sesame seeds, the pistachio kernels and the cranberries until just mixed. Cover with cellophane and refrigerate for approximately 1 to 2 hours (ideally overnight) in order to allow the flavors to infuse properly.
  6. Take the dough out of the fridge approximately 1 hour before processing in order to allow to adopt room temperature.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  8. Divide the dough into two parts. Form two rolls of dough approximately 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter. Place the dough rolls next to one another on a baking tray covered with a baking mat. Leave some space between them. Then gently press down the top of the rolls so they will take an oval form.
  9. For the glaze, shortly beat the egg with the water and the sugar and brush a thin coat of the egg wash onto the dough rolls.
  10. Form a line of pistachio kernels in the center top of each row by slightly pressing the kernels into the dough. Leave as much space between them, so when you cut the rolls in slices later on, each biscuit will be decorated with one pistachio kernel.
  11. Finally, sprinkle the roasted sesame set aside earlier over the rolls.
  12. Bake the rolls for approximately 15 to 20 minutes in the oven until they take a light brown color.
  13. Reduce the temperature to 100 degrees Celsius (let the oven cool down completely before continuing the baking process!). In the meantime, let the dough rolls cool down until they do not feel warm anymore.
  14. With a sharp knife, cut the rolls into approximately 1 cm thick slices. Place the slices next to one another with the cut side facing up onto baking trays.
  15. Let the biscuits dry in the oven for approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
  16. Turn off the oven and open the oven door, and continue drying with the oven turned off for approximately 2 to 4 hours.
  17. Store the bisuits in an airtight container – they keep well for several weeks.

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