During our Moroccan Food Tour last October we enjoyed making Moroccan pastries at a cooking school in Essaouira. Since returning home I have made these sesame and raisin shortbread and have adapted the recipe for ingredients that we can easily access here in Australia. This recipe is flavoured with sesame, raisins and orange – classic flavours in Moroccan cuisine. Enjoy!
195g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
125g sultanas (or raisins), finely chopped
125g sesame seeds, toasted in a fry pan over low heat, cooled
250g plain flour
1 orange, zested
1 tsp vanilla paste
Extra icing sugar to coat the shortbread in
Preheat the oven to 175C. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
Put all ingredients in a stand mixer and combine on low speed until you have a soft dough that is neither sticky or dry. If the dough seems to be dry add more butter. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour.
Roll a tablespoon of mixture into a ball and place on the tray. Press down gently with the back of a fork. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden. The sweet, fragrant wafts from the kitchen will let you know they are ready, but set a timer just in case!
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on trays before lightly coating the biscuits in icing sugar. I find the easiest way to do this is to place a cup of icing sugar in a deep bowl and then toss the biscuits in it, tapping away excess.
Set onto a cooling rack to cool fully. Store in an airtight jar.
Notes: If you like a crispier biscuit cook the shortbread for a little longer. Keep an eye on them so they don’t get too brown.
Also, in humid weather it may be better to dust the shortbread in icing sugar just prior to serving to avoid them becoming sticky.