Moroccan fekkas (biscuits) with chermoula paste

Petite Moroccan fekkas (biscuits) with chermoula paste

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Moroccan petite fekkas with spicy salami and cheese

Savoury Moroccan fekkas (biscuits) with spicy salami and cheese

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Whenever I make these savoury biscuits called Fekkas, I end up eating more than a handful in one serving. That’s how they are addictive. They can perfectly replace a bowl of salty nuts, chips or pretzels on the table.

Moroccan petite fekkas with spicy salami and cheese

Moroccan petite fekkas with spicy salami and cheese. Credit @Nada Kiffa

New Moroccan habits

The last 25 to 30 years have seen these savoury bites starting in Casablanca as a good idea for nibbles among a few families only to become a national treat in many other cities and with various flavouring ingredients and shapes..
 
 
This combination I’m posting today is one one my favourites and it’s actually one of the firsts we’ve seen in the market one they started making savoury fekkas in Casablanca. It also gets better in the next days..


For wedding ceremonies, some families prepare savoury fekkas biscuits  in different shapes and flavours and place them in the middle of tables, along with roasted salted almonds, to keep the guests busy before the big ceremony starts..

Free-form biscuits

The variety of fekkas I’m proposing today is coin-shaped and is usually between 1 and 2 cm. However, I do personally shape it using small cookie-cutters and serve as it is or as mini-crackers.

When I don’t feel cutting the whole batch, I properly wrap the rods of unbaked dough and leave them for another time. It takes 15 minutes to bring them to a decent texture and cut them and another 10 minutes to bake them. Then you end up with another fresh batch of nibbles.

Ingredients

Serves 20 persons 
Prep: 20 min – Chilling: 2 hrs- freezing: 1 hour – Baking: 10 -12 min

  • 1 kg of all purpose flour
  • 250g of butter, soft or in cubes, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp of harissa paste or chilli powder or flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsps of Dijon mustard
  • 120 g of soft cheese (kirri, la vache qui rit or Philadelphia)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 80 ml of vegetable oil (substitute half with olive oil)
  • 1 clove garlic (pressed) or 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 200 g of grated cheese (cheddar or Edam will do)
  • 200g of grated cooked spicy salami or spicy cacher/kacher (Moroccan cold cuts)
  • 1 tbsp of dried thyme or oregano
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water (add as needed to get a dough)
Making petite fekkas with spicy salami and cheese

Making petite fekkas with spicy salami. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Preparation

Mix all ingredients except the water, spicy salami and thyme. You should get a sort of sandy texture. A food processor can be used to cover this step.

Follow the process described here to shape dough rods and freeze them so you can produce even “coins” of dough at a faster pace.

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C.

Line the coins of dough next to each others over a baking tray covered with baking sheet.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden and baked from the center.

You may find some of the fekkas which may have been cut thicker then the others a bit soft from the center; just leave those in the hot oven but with the heat turned off. They’ll be perfect after a few minutes.

Store in an airtight containers or in plastic bags for up to 2 weeks.

Like mentioned before, you can freeze unbaked rods of dough for at least a month and pop them out for a few minutes before cutting and baking a new batch of fekkas.

I like these fekkas the next day after they’ve been baked, they get better by the day and the spicy salami/cacher infuses the flavour even better.

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Moroccan Mustard and cheese biscuits

I think I’ve posted many sweets lately. So today is going to be a savoury snack/nibbles sort of recipe. Very easy to make and freezer friendly dough (You know by now that I like the freezer friendly stuff, especially with a baby onboard).

Mustard biscuits with ground pepper and piment d’espelette (or chili powder)

I have previously posted recipes of savoury biscuits and shortbreads which we are very found of in Morocco (here, here, here, here).

I made these for a charity bake-sale (see here and here)

They’re always welcome especially with drinks and tea-time/coffee time, or just to keep people waiting for the main meal during the wedding ceremonies back home (that would be my Morocco)..

Mustard biscuits with Cheddar cheese (Edam is usually used in Morocco)

Ingredients
Makes 20 +
Prep: 10 min -Resting time: 15 min- baking: 12-15 min

  • 130 g de farine
  • 100 g de beurre 
  • 4 carrés de fromage Kiri
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard (or English)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper 
Optional:
Mix of dry herbs, paprika, chili flakes/powder, dry onion powder, cumin seeds, nigella seeds

Preparation

Crumble flour and butter together.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and combine without oveworking the dough (just like a shortcrust dough).
Flatten the dough and cover it with a cling-film and keep it in the freezer for 15 min or the fridge for 40 min.
Between 2 parchment paper or over a slightly flour dusted worktop, roll the dough as thick as 5 mm ( I made mine 3 mm, but thicker is nicer).

 

Use cookie cutters to shape the biscuits or just cut strips no longer than 4 cm by 1 cm.

 

Freeze for 10 min while you preheat the oven at 180 degrees C. My mother didn’t freeze anything but it’s always good to handle a dough with butter that way.

Slightly space the biscuits when you place them into the baking sheep. Bake for 15 to 18 min until they look nicely golden.

Let cool on a cooling rack before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Note: you can top the biscuits with spices, sesame or cheese before baking.

 


Moroccan savoury biscuit 2: Thyme, oregano and cheese fekkas

Earlier in the day, I have posted onion, cheese and parsley fekkas and now I’ll be posting another recipe of these crunchy and savoury little biscuits, easy to make and very adaptable to your taste (think more or less spices and herbs according to what you like)..

Ingredients
Serves 10 persons
Prep: 20 min – Chilling: 1 hr- Freezing: 2hrs or more – Baking: 10 min

  • 250 to 300g of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of dried thyme or double if you are using fresh
  • 1 cube of vegetable or beef bouillon, finelly crumbled
  • 1 clove of garlic, in paste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 120 ml of cold milk
  • 60g of melted butter
  • 60 ml of vegetable oil.

Today’s recipe is about the Thyme and oregano fekkas (left)

Preparation

Mix the liquid ingredients and the garlic. Stir.

Mix the dry ingredients. Combine liquids and dry mixtures. Form a ball. Follow direction as previously described in the parsley, onion and cheese fekkas.

Bake at 190 degrees for about 12 min. Let cool before placing the fekkas in an airtight container or sachets.