Prep 1 hr 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
Popular Moroccan pastry. They are stuffed with almond paste and curved into horn-shaped crescents.
- 14 ounces unsalted butter, chilled & cut into 1/4-inch bits (3 1/2 sticks)
- 1⁄4 cup sunflower oil
- 3 cups flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 6 -8 tablespoons ice water
almond paste filling
- 1⁄2 cup blanched slivered almond
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons orange blossom water, divided (orange blossom extract)
- 1 (8 ounce) canprepared almond paste, softened
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
- In a large chilled bowl, combine the butter, sunflower oil, flour, and salt.
- Using your fingertips, rub the flour and butter together until they look like flakes of coarse meal (Do NOT over mix).
- Pour 6 tablespoons ice water all at once into the mixture; toss together lightly.
- Gather the dough into a ball.
- If the dough crumbles, add ice water a few drops at a time until everything sticks together and forms a soft dough (up to 2 tablespoons).
- Divide the dough in half, dust each half with a little flour, and wrap in waxed paper.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C, gas mark 4).
- Spread the almonds out in a shallow baking pan and toast them in the middle of the oven until they are lightly browned, turning them occasionally (8-10 minutes).
- Pulverize the almonds in a blender, nut grinder, or using a mortar and pestle.
- Then, using the back of a spoon, rub ground almonds through a fine sieve into a deep bowl.
- Add the sugar, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon orange blossom water and knead with your hands into a stiff paste.
- Add the almond paste, butter, and egg, and beat vigorously with a spoon until mixture is smooth.
- Raise the oven temp to 400°F.
- On a lightly floured surface, pat half of the dough into a rough rectangle about 1-inch thick.
- Dust a little flour over and under the rectangle, and roll it out from the center to within an inch or so of the far edge of the pastry.
- Lift the dough and rotate it 90°; roll again from the center to within an inch or so of the far edge.
- Repeat - lifting, turning, rolling - until the rectangle is a little less than 1/8-inch thick (If the dough sticks at any point during the rolling, lift it gently with a metal spatula and sprinkle a little flour under it).
- Using a ruler and a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 3-inch squares.
- For each cookie, roll 1 teaspoon almond filling between your palms to form a cylinder about 2-inches long and 1/2-inch in diameter.
- Place a square of dough so that it's oriented as a diamond, and place the cylinder horizontally across it 1/2-inch down from the top point.
- Lift the top point up and fold it over so that it covers the filling.
- Then, starting with the folded edge, roll the dough up tightly jelly-roll fashion.
- Pinch the ends firmly closed, and gently shape the roll into a crescent.
- Arrange the crescents about 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown (20 minutes).
- Transfer to wire racks and sprinkle them evenly with 1 tablespoon orange blossom water.
- One at a time, dip the pastries in the powdered sugar to coat them lightly, and return them to the racks to cool.
- While the first batch is baking, roll out and cut the remaining half of the dough, and repeat the process for filling and shaping.
- While the first batch is cooling, bake the second batch until golden brown (20 minutes).
- Transfer to wire racks and sprinkle them evenly with the remaining tablespoon orange blossom water.
- Roll in powdered sugar, and let cool to room temperature before serving.
These wonderful pastries taste devine! My mother-in-law always brings them from Morocco when she comes to visit!