Gazelle Horn Cookie-Moroccan

There are so many beautiful cookies in the world. I can get lost on the internet looking at different cookie recipes. I came across these stuffed cookies on a French language website and kind of got sucked down a hole looking for recipes in cups and ounces not in metric.

What I learned is that sometimes they are rolled in powdered sugar, sometime rolled in sesame seeds, sometimes dipped in orange blossom water...

There's a problem however with trying to create a cookie you've never seen in real life or tasted or even had a conversation about with someone who has. How do you know if you are even close? It's pretty much just a leap of faith.

And I never did find a recipe that was in Empirical measures. I did however convert one. That's what I've got here.

Just a note about the orange flower water it is a flavor that is different than orange zest or orange juice. As the name indicates it is very floral. When I smell it straight out of the bottle it seems almost soapy probably because it's a smell used in soap in the USA. But it is mellower once it is added to other ingredients and adds a dimension to the cookie that is lovely. I went low on my use of it too in this recipe. The one I converted used 0.25 cup in the nut filling and no orange oil. I wimped out thinking my family might not like that as well.

Gazelle Horn Cookie like you might find in Morocco


2 cups flour
0.5 cup sugar
0.5 tsp. salt
2 eggs
0.75 cup butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
0.25 cup orange flower water (from a Mediterranean grocery)


2 cups blanched almonds
1.25 cup sugar
0.25 cup butter
1 tablespoon orange flower water (more if you'd like and omit the oil)
1 dram orange oil
0.25 tsp. cinnamon

powdered sugar for rolling

For the dough pulse the ingredients in a food processor 30 seconds after the dough comes together, about a minute total. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill for at least an hour. It will be soft.

For the filling pulse the nuts into a fine meal. Add the remaining ingredients, but do not over process, don't make almond butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. It should hold together if you squeeze it. If not add a tablespoon more of butter.

While the dough is chilling form the nut mixture into "horns" about the size of your pinky, using about a tablespoon of the mixture. Press it against a glass to get a nice semi-circle that is fuller in the middle and tapered at the ends. You should get about 36 of them.

Using a glass to shape the filling
Portion the dough into 20 pieces, roll into a rectangle that is wider half an inch wider and 3 times longer than your semicircle sized nut crescents. Place the crescent on the lower third of the dough.
The size of dough compared to the filling.
Lift the top over the crescent and press the dough around the filling. Press an edge around the filling.
Fold over and press. 
Cut the excess dough off using a knife or like me an antique ravioli cutter. (It is the favorite thing passed to me by someone I love.) Be sure to seal the nut mixture in the dough, it will bubble out while baking if not. You'll use the scrap dough for the remaining 16 cookies. Be gentle with the scraps so you'll have tender cookies.

Trim excess dough. 
Set on a parchment lined cookie sheet and let sit an hour. Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Score the cookies with fork or some other pokey tool in a decorative manner just before putting them in the oven.

Bake 15-18 minutes until just golden on the bottom and the dough looks dry.

Remove to a cooling rack. Toss in powdered sugar when cool enough to handle.

These are indeed a fussy cookie. Sometimes you want something fussy, right?

Will you make something you've never seen in real life? How do you explore recipes?