Assalmo alykum. Today begins the last phase of ramadan ( i.e the last ten days ). Welcome again to Ramadan An Event to share. Our today’s guest is Umm Hamza from HalaalHomeCooking . She is from England , married to an Algerian. Over to you Umm Hamza.
Assalaamu Alaykum. I’m Umm Hamza from the blog Halal Home Cooking. I’m a Muslim revert from England married to an Algerian. I especially enjoy making sweets during Ramadan days to enjoy after Iftar – breaking fast meal in the evening. Even when it’s hot outside, I get drawn to baking or frying!
Makrout, Makroud or Makroudh are North African cookies. The name means diamond shaped in the North African dialect of Arabic.
My husband prefers the fried Makrout made from semolina and dates but I think this baked almond (el louz) version is just as good. They’re sweet soft almond cookies flavoured with lemon and almond extract. After baking they are given a stronger flavour by being dipped in orange blossom water and given a generous coating of icing sugar.
Normally Makrout El Louz dough is brought together with egg, but as I had only an egg yolk I used a heaped tablespoon of Greek-style yogurt too. I’m sharing a small batch recipe which can easily be doubled; the recipe makes 7 thick cookies. As the Makrout are given a generous coating of icing sugar eating just one is sure to satisfy your sweet craving after a long day fasting, in shaa Allah.
Makrout El Louz
Makes: 7 cookies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (includes cooling, dipping and coating)
225g ground almonds
80g icing sugar, plus more for coating
1 tsp lemon zest
2 drops almond extract *optional
1 small egg (or 1 egg yolk plus about a tablespoon of full-fat Greek-style yogurt)
Cornflour, or plain flour for work surface and tray.
Orange blossom water, for dipping
Pre-heat oven to gas mark 3 / 170C / 340F.
Into a large bowl add ground almonds, icing sugar, lemon zest and stir together with a wooden spoon or a fork. Make a well in the centre of the ground almond mixture, add the almond extract if using and the egg (or egg yolk and yogurt) and stir until the dough starts to come together then with your hand bring it together into a smooth ball.
Lightly flour a work-surface with corn-flour (or regular flour). Take your ball of dough and gently shape it into a log about 21 cm in length. Slightly flatten the log then using a ruler and a sharp knife divide into 7 pieces – cut diagonally every 3cm. Transfer Makrout to a lightly floured baking tray (I forgot to flour mine and mine stuck a little) and bake for 20 mins on middle shelf, turn tray half-way through baking time.
Remove from oven and leave to cool on the tray for 10 minutes then on a cooling rack. After another 5 minutes the Makrout should be cool enough to handle.
Put some orange blossom water in a small bowl and about 200g of sieved icing sugar into another bowl. Dip each Makrout first and quickly into the orange blossom water then into the icing sugar. Turn in the icing sugar many times until all the surface of the Makrout is covered, place in paper cases and enjoy at room temperature with a cup of tea or coffee.