Chebakia recipe, a.k.a Chebbaki is a classic Moroccan pastry that has a flower shape. You can never miss this special cookie during special occasions or Ramadan. Its shape and taste give the dessert some classy touch that gives a lasting impression on your guests.
That’s not all; Chebakia is known for its delightful taste. The blend of cinnamon, anise, honey, and orange flower water give the cookie a distinct flavor that is so heavenly.
However, to achieve all this, you need patience and correct quantification of the ingredients. In this piece, I will take you through the preparation and cooking process but first, let’s look at its history.
History of Chebakia Recipe
The history of the Moroccan Chebakia recipe is said to be from ancient Roman. Though there is no documentation about when this special dish was prepared, there are some similarities with ancient Roman honey cookies.
The pastry also has a close resemblance to South Korea Yakgwa. This makes the origin of the Moroccan variation controversial. However, the Chebakia has a modern look, and its preparation requires more time.
Regardless of its origin, the dish stands out from the competition and is one of the Moroccan staples that is treasured. No event is complete without one.
And without much ado, let’s jump right into the recipe.
6 cups of flour
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs at room temperature
¼ cup vinegar
1tbsp of crushed saffron threads
2tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp anise seed (ground)
½ tsp baking powder
1tbsp ground cinnamon
½ cup of orange blossom water
½ tsp salt
1 bowl sesame seeds
For Adding More Flavor
4 cups of honey
2tbsp of vegetable oil
1 cup of toasted sesame seeds (for decoration)
3 tbsp. orange blossom water
Toast the Sesame Seeds
- Pour the sesame seeds into a large platter and remove the debris.
- Spread them on a baking pan and toast, then at 2000 C for fifteen minutes or until crunchy.
- Let them cool down and put them on an airtight container.
Preparing Chebakia Dough
- Pour the toasted sesame seeds on a food processor and crush them until you get a powder. Transfer it into a bowl.
- Combine the remaining grains with sugar and crush them into a thick powder.
- Put the flour in an electric mixer; add the grain mixture and other dry ingredients. Mix for about three minutes or until you get a consistent variety. Pour olive oil and melted butter and mix at medium speeds for two minutes.
- Add the blossom water and vinegar and mix the dough until you get a thick consistency. Add the water slowly while mixing at every stage.
- Beat the eggs and continue mixing for another three minutes.
- Lightly flour the worktop and knead your dough for about two minutes with your hands.
Styling The Dough
- Divide the dough into five portions. Mold each portion and place it in a plastic bag and allow it to rest for about five minutes.
- Lightly flour the worktop again, remove one of the dough portions, and roll into a thin dough. With the help of a cookie-cutter, shape the dough into a rectangle almost the size of your palm.
- In each rectangle, make four lengthwise cuts almost rectangular without cutting through the dough edges. Thread your left-hand middle finger on through the alternating strips and pinch the outer pieces of dough together with your right hand to form the flower center.
- While still holding the pinched corners with your right hand, allow the dough to slide down your left hand gently. Pinch the opposite corners to form an elongated flower shape.
Preparing Dough for Baking
- Place it in your baking sheet and repeat the same with the remaining dough.
- Gather any dough scraps and mold them again and place them back in the plastic bag to rest. Repeat the entire process for the remaining portions.
- Lightly brush oil on the Chebakia and cover all full trays of prepared dough with a towel until done with the preparation.
- Preheat oven up to 180 degrees celsius.
- In a pot, heat the honey to a boiling point making sure it doesn’t bubble. Add the orange flower water and turn off the heat.
- Bake the Chebakia in batches for twenty minutes or until lightly browned.
Soaking in Honey
- Once the Chebakia is ready, transfer it into the honey pot and soak them for about six minutes. Remove them and place them on a colander or strainer to drain.
- Repeat the same process for the remaining batches. Transfer the drained cookies to a platter and garnish them with sesame seeds while still hot.
- Allow the cookies to cool down, then serve with tea, coffee, or harira—store the remaining in an airtight container at room temperature for a month. Freeze the cookies for up to five months.