Recipe by Nasseh
This isn't really a cookie but that is how my husband describes it & he is from Morocco. It is a sweet powder mixture that Moroccans eat on special occasions, such as Ramadan. (I use fresh ground almond butter from a specialty store to skip the steps of frying & grinding the almonds. Make sure if you do this that the only ingredient in the almond butter is almonds.)
- 1 1⁄2 cups flour, sifted
- 3⁄4 cup sesame seeds
- canola oil, for frying
- 1 1⁄4 cups blanched skinless almonds, sliced
- 1⁄3 cup powdered sugar
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 tablespoon ground aniseed (ground anise)
- salt, to taste
- 1⁄3-1⁄2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
Directions See How It's Made
- Brown the flour: This can be done up to a week prior to making the sellou. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Place the flour in a very large baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until light-to-medium golden brown.
- Stir every five minutes to prevent burning and to help the flour color evenly. When the flour is cool, sift it several times to remove any balls. Cover and store until needed.
- Toast the sesame: Spread the sesame in a single layer on a large baking sheet, and toast in a 400° F (200° C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crunchy and nutty in flavor. (Or, toast the sesame in batches in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.) When the sesame is cool, store in a covered container until needed.
- Fry the almonds: Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and fry the almonds in batches, stirring constantly, until light golden brown. The almonds will continue to darken to a richer golden brown once they're removed from the oil. Drain and cool the fried almonds.
- Note: Be careful not to let the oil get so hot that the almonds brown too quickly and take on a burnt flavor. The frying should take about five to 10 minutes for the almonds to color properly so that they are cooked inside as well as out.
- Assembling the sellou: Melt the clarified butter and set aside.
- In a very large mixing bowl, sift the browned flour, powdered sugar, spices and salt through a fine sieve. Discard any tiny balls of browned flour that remain. Use your hands to toss and thoroughly blend the mixture.
- Reserve 2-3 tbsp of unground sesames to mix into the sellou for crunch and texture. Finely grind the rest of the sesame seeds in a food processor until almost paste-like.
- Separate the almond into two bowls. Grind half the almonds to a smooth paste and the other half just until the oils are released. Add both the almonds & sesame pastes to the flour mixture.
- Next, use your hands to toss and thoroughly blend everything together. Taste and add a little more sugar or spices if desired.
- Gradually work in enough of the melted, clarified butter to form a glistening mixture that is moist enough to pack into a ball or mound.
- Knead the sellou for a few minutes to ensure everything is mixed thoroughly before transferring to a plastic container. (The sellou will continue to absorb the butter and dry a little bit as it is stored.).
- Let the mixture to cool and then cover. Sellou keeps well for two months or longer in an airtight plastic container. It can also be frozen for up to six months. Allow newly prepared sellou to sit for a day or two before freezing.