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Khab el Ghazal cookie from Morocco

Posted by on 2 June, 2013

cornes de gazelle resultaat 50 dipi

To be honest: khab el Ghazal or corne de gazelle is not my absolute favourite Moroccan cookie. I would never say no to one of these elegant almond filled crescents, but my number 1 is the sticky chebakia cookie with sesame seeds. I have to be fair and the khab el ghazal is the cookie that you find absolutely everywhere in Morocco so it deserves its first place on my blog.

I never knew that Morocco was such a paradise for cookie lovers. On my recent visit I had to be torn away from patisseries with trays and trays of seductive sweet pastries regularly. Luckily I had a sweet mission and bought a few khab el ghazels in every patisserie I came across (not a punishment at all…..) and tasted my way around the country. These cookies are best when very fresh. The thin layer of pastry that enfolds the orange blossom water scented almond filling must be thin and crisp and the inside has to be soft and moist. Stale cookies are disappointingly tough and musty. You can tell whether a patisserie is well visited by the freshness of the khab el ghazal. Traditionally the khab el ghazel cookie was serverd during Ramadan, but nowadays you can buy these sweet treats every day of the year. The Arabic name of the cookie means gazelle’s ankle. The French called it corne de gazelle or gazelle’s antler. I must say that -with a little bit of imagination- I find it easier to see the antler than the ankle in the shape of the cookie. If you like this cookie, try my version khab el ghazal with dates, chocolate and saffron.

Khab el Ghazal cookie from Morocco

ingredienten cornes

Not that many ingredients at all

for about 30 cookies

for the almond filling
200 grams of peeled almonds
45 grams of soft unsalted butter
pinch of salt
100 grams of icing sugar
2 teaspoons of orange blossom water
pinch of cinnamon

for the dough
250 grams of flour
60 grams of soft unsalted butter
2 teaspoons of orange blossom water
40 gram of icing sugar + extra too sprinkle on later
1 egg
50 milliliters warm water


amandelpasta maken

making the almond filling


Grind the almonds with the butter, the salt, the icing sugar, the orange blossom water and the cinnamon in a food processor.  There will still be some bigger crunchy bits. If you prefer a smooth filling, grind the almonds first. Form into a ball and leave to rest in the refrigerator for about 30 min.







deeg en amandeldeeg

almond filling (l) and the dough (r)

Mix all the ingredients for the dough together and knead into a soft supple ball.








cornes staafjes amandel

batons of almond filling

Divide the dough for the khab al ghazal into pieces of 8 grams. Divide the almond filling into pieces of 7 grams and form into little batons.









cornes de gazelle vormen met roller

forming the cookies

Roll out the dough very thinly into circles with a 8 cm diameter. Place the almond filling just a little from the middle. Fold the narrower part of the dough over the filling while stretching it a little. The dough should be nice and thin. Press the dough around the filling and form a crescent shape with your hands. Make sure the 2 layers of dough are pressed together well and cut away excess dough with a ravioli cutter. Gather the excess dough together and use it again.








cornes de gazelle klaar voor deoven

ready for the oven

Put the crescents on a baking tray lined with baking paper and leave to dry for about 1 hour for a crispier result. Preheat the oven to 170 °C (325 F). Bake the khab el Ghazel for about 12 min. They should not brown. Baking them for too long makes the almond filling dry.

Leave them to cool on the baking tray and sprinkle with extra icing sugar

This post is also available in: Dutch

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