Makroud El Louse (Algerian Almond Cookies)

If it were possible to travel to Algeria for one reason, it might just be these cookies. I loved my own version, but I don’t even think I did this cookie justice.

Despite the minor bump in the road of not knowing how long it would take to blanch a pound and a quarter of almonds (2 hours, in case you wanted details), these cookies were the glorious end to a delicious Friday night dinner.

Skill Level: Basic

Original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1.25 lbs of almonds

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

2 cups of water

For the finishing touches:

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon of orange blossom water

3 cups of confectioners sugar

Tips:

  • Orange blossom water is impossible to find; orange extract works just as well. If you really want to be adventurous, you could try any extract you want…but orange is really good.
  • Buy blanched almonds! But if that’s not an option, just pour boiling water over the almonds and let them sit for a minute. Drain the almonds then rinse them in cool water. I did this in a salad strainer and when I took the almonds out to rinse them, I was left with almond tea which I then scooped into glasses, chilled in the fridge and enjoyed with my parents later on!
  • Also, depending on how fast your oven preheats, don’t preheat your oven until your almonds are ready to be mixed into the cookies.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (see “Tips”)
  2. Place the almonds and sugar in a food processor and pulse until they are ground up and well mixed. Pour the almond/sugar mixture into a bowl and make a well in the center.
  3. Pour the eggs into the mixture (you can beat them before mixing them in or you can beat them once they are part of the mixture). Mix with your hands or a spoon and continue to knead the dough until it comes together.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 relatively equal portions. Roll each one into a rope (spread lots of flour on the surface you’re rolling the ropes) and place each one on an ungreased baking sheet (parchment paper is the best thing ever!).
  5. Press the ropes to flatten them to about 3/4 of an inch. Cut them on an angle into bars or diamonds.
  6. Bake the cookies until they are lightly browned on top (usually 12-15 minutes but I should’ve baked mine for longer).
  7. Move the cookies to racks and let them cool completely (also putting them in the fridge is helpful if you’re on a time crunch).
  8. While the cookies cool, boil the water and stir in the sugar so it dissolves. Let the sugar water boil for 10-15 minutes and then remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Stir in the orange blossom water.
  9. Put the confectioners sugar in a bowl. Dip each cookie in the sugar water and then the confectioners sugar. Let the cookies sit until you are ready to serve them (I put mine in the fridge and they turned out delicious).
    Ready to bake
    Ready to bake
    Just out of the oven
    Just out of the oven

    Ready to eat
    Ready to eat
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