Friday, 11 March 2011

More delicacies : Moroccan Ghrouibas with Almonds

I don’t think you can resist the unbelievable chewiness of these Moroccan almond Macaroons. We call them “Ghrouiba bellouz”. I have made an American style cookie version (flat) and a Moroccan crackled version (the traditional one). We are gifting most of them to some friends today.

The orange peel is a totally optional element, so you may skip it; the ghrouibas are definitely amazing even without it!

For more than 50 pieces
Prep : 20 min/ Baking : 18 min by batch

- 500g almonds blanched, peeled and ground to paste (do not use almond powder)
 - 250 g powdered sugar
 - 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 1 pinch of salt
 - 1 tbsp of jam (apricot is preferred)
- 1 tbsp of butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon baking powder.
 - Zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 slice of candied orange peel, finely chopped (optional, but the flat ghrouibas usually have it)
-  A good pinch of Mastic gum or Meska
- Essence of Almond (3 to 4 drops if you suspect that the almonds do not have a strong taste)

Finishing and decoration
-Almond flakes
-Icing sugar
-1 egg white


Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C and cover 2 baking sheets with baking paper.

Lightly beat the eggs with the sugar and the pinch of salt. Add in the other ingredients and mix until the batter it homogeneous (do not overwork, actually you can even do this with your hands)

Form small balls of approx 1 ½ cm diameter; use a measuring teaspoon to help you get it right.

You can shape them like that and finish them with flaky almonds

Touch the surface with the white egg and generously coat the same surface with icing sugar.

Place the ghrouibas on the baking sheets.

Bake on position “grill” until it crackles then bake from the bottom. I usually put the 2 positions ON at the same time. This way it cooks in 18 minutes.

NB: Gum arabic is the secret ingredient that gives this delicate taste. The spoon of jam reinforces the chewy texture.

Flat version "cookie-like"


  1. ghribas are of spanish origin "montecaos"

  2. Hi there anonymous,

    I like montecaos and it is true that a version of them more like ghrouiba behla in Morocco.

    For the concept of ghrouiba or ghraibeh, I don't think so..The Egyptians made it before, based on flour only...Besides, Let's not forget that there was an 800 years of Arabs in Spain.


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