One of the things that deeply impressed me during our trip to Morocco three years ago was the finely crafted pastries, specifically marzipan — bright little bite-sized sculptures, each piece crafted with individual attention. Adorned with itty bitty flower cutouts and edible beads, they were almost too pretty to eat, but we managed nonetheless.
Ever since that visit, I’ve been collecting marzipan cutters — it turns out these mysterious little cookies are being made with modern spring-loaded cookie molds that can be ordered directly from China. But more on that in the next post, which will be a recipe for gingerbread (and a guide to ordering cookie cutters).
Today, I intend to leave you with some inspiring photos of Moroccan pastries.
Marzipan encased in dough, topped with an almond. Dough details are probably created by making delicate little pinches with serrated tweezers like those used to make Arab date cookies. From a bakery just off Meknes’ main square. I wish I had the name still.
Sweets from another bakery in Meknes, this one inside the mellah:
And here are photos of some sweets purchased at a bakery in Marrakech, close to the Jewish quarter (salt market). Again, I wish I had a record of the name of the place. I love the design of that date cookie (the one with dark brown accents).
Finding recipes for all these sweets hasn’t proved easy, but ultimately I think these styles can be applied to all sorts of cookies, if you have the time and inclination.
Here are some recipes I’ve found online (but haven’t tried): Gorgeous marzipan with lattice molds (translation from French to English via Google translate here). And here’s an example of marzipan flowers used to decorate a cake.
More in the next post!