Moroccan Tea Biscuits

Moroccan Tea Biscuits

Makes about 40 Cookies

Take one bite of the crisp cookies known as fekkas and you’re inhaling the perfumes of the Middle East: orange-flower water (left over from Orange Flan), anise, sesame seeds, and toasted almonds.

1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted (see Tips), cooled, and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons orange-flower water
2 teaspoons anise seeds
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (see Tips) and cooled, divided
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

Stir together sugar, butter, almonds, orange-flower water, anise seeds,
extracts, and 1/4 cup sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add eggs and stir until
well combined. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined.
Chill dough, covered, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 (11- by 3-inch) loaves on an
ungreased baking sheet. Brush with enough egg wash to coat, then sprinkle
with remaining tablespoon sesame seeds.

Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Loosen from baking sheet with a
spatula, then transfer loaves to a rack and cool 15 minutes. (Leave oven

Cut warm loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife and arrange
biscuits, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet. Bake until golden,
20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.

Cooks’ note: Biscuits keep in an airtight container at room temperature 3