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Baking Dorie’s Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies

My cupboard, spice rack, and fridge door are filled with half-used ingredients from the past decade: we make a recipe that just needs a tablespoon of this powder or that extract. I wish I could just forget about it, but they take up space when I’m looking for something else.

So when I find a recipe that uses it, I’m excited to dive in to hopefully get it out of my kitchen again. That’s what drew me to this recipe from Dorie’s Cookies: semolina flour and almond flour.

Of course, when I actually went to grab the ingredients, I stumbled across the same problem with trying to get rid of any ingredient: they were old.

The almond flour actually wasn’t in bad shape: Julie used it to make (delicious) macarons, and she was clever enough to store it in the freezer. Of course, the almond flour was cold, and I’m not sure whether that mattered in the recipe.

I use semolina flour only to dust my pizza peel. Before the semolina flour, I had many misshapen pizzas with cheese and sauce stains on my pizza steel because I couldn’t release the pizza from the peel into my oven properly. That, however, barely uses any, and my semolina flour expired in 2018. It also smelled like it expired in 2018.

I actually took this picture afterwards: the semolina flour was basically full

Every recipe gets tweaked a bit. It called for fine sea salt, but I couldn’t be bothered to spend the time grinding it, so I just used my table salt. I also didn’t have orange flower water: I actually didn’t even bother looking up what orange flower water was because I have Fiori di Sicilia, which is citrus-y and literally translates to “Flowers of Sicily”, so it seemed like a good substitute.

The timings and consistency all worked for me. My final tweak was that my cookie scoop measures out 1 1/2 tbsps, not 1 tbsp, so the cookies turned out a little big. It made 27 instead of the stated 38, which is pretty close on the math. So I baked it a little long.

Dorie describes them as having “a bit of a bite and a slight grit.” Even so, they were quite tender, and the sweetness of being rolled in powdered sugar is a nice touch.

The cookies are indeed not too sweet, and she recommended eating them with either mint tea or wine. Unfortunately, the only mint tea I have is a black tea, and since I don’t really do caffeine, that was a no go. I was skeptical since I’m not a tea drinker, but I grabbed the camomile, and it worked. I think the bitterness of the tea helps to make the cookies taste a little sweeter.

You can find the recipe for Moroccan Semolina and Almond Cookies here.

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