Twabaa – Algerian cookies that are traditionally flavoured with citrus zest, vanilla and/ or anise seeds.
I highly suspect Twabaa are the same cookies as the very similar named Tabaa cookies which take their name from the Algerian word for cookie cutter / mould BUT, the thing is these cookies today don’t need such cutter.
Hands roll the soft,slightly sticky dough into balls which are then prodded in the middle and stretched with a wet handle of a wooden spoon. We all have a wooden spoon right?!
How I Made Twabaa
In stand mixer bowl – free range eggs, sugar. Transparent bowl we have plain flour, semolina, baking powder and a pinch of salt and in the small bowl we have extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and halal vanilla extract.
Whisk eggs and sugar together for a few minutes until pale and thick.
Whilst the stand mixer is whisking gradually add in the oil mixture.
Start folding in your flour.
I had trouble with the amount of flour in the original recipe it said 2 1/2 cups plain flour, for a start I only had 1 1/4 cups left so used half fine semolina but then when the dough was still very liquidy and I’d run out of adding more semolina I rummaged through my kitchen cupboard and threw in the dregs of a bread flour bag and some plain or self raising flour I found lurking in a tupperware box on the top shelf.
The one thing I did forget was to a bit more baking powder, recipe below will show the correct amount.
Even with all the extra flour I still ended up with a very soft slightly sticky cookie dough.
I scooped tablespoons of mixture and made sure each weighed 20 grams and then with oiled hands rolled into balls and placed on lightly oiled baking trays, if you have non stick baking paper use it as they are quite hard to scrape of the sheet. With a wet handle of a wooden spoon I then punched holes in the center and stretched out like how you do with doughnuts or bagels.
Next on with an egg wash that has been watered down with a splash of orange blossom water and then topped with more sugar.
After a few batches came out of the oven I got more inventive and rubbed some lemon zest into granulated sugar to top the cookies before baking.
Not as pretty as I imagined but naturally these are the kids favourites.
These cookies are pleasantly crisp, dry and crumbly GOOD DUNKERS (if you don’t mind a few crumbs at the bottom of your tea cup) and the flavour of the lemon zest and olive oil are perfectly matched.
I’m now off to make a salad dressing but first the recipe card and don’t forget tag in me on social media should you try any of my recipes.
Twabaa – Lemon & Olive Oil Cookies
feel free to replace lemon with orange zest and vanilla with orange blossom water. for something different, you could sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds, flaked almonds or pearl sugar.
- 3 free-range eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3/4 teaspoon halal concentrated vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups fine semolina
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 2/3 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- For Egg Wash:
- 1 free range egg
- capful of orange blossom water
- sugar – for sprinkling
- lemon zest
- Pre-Heat oven to 350F / 180C / 160C Fan / Gas Mark 4
- Mise en place
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whisk together eggs and sugar until pale and thick, a few minutes.
- Gradually beat in the oil, zest and vanilla.
- Fold the flour/semolina mix into the egg mix until incorporated.
- Scoop tablespoons of the dough make sure each is 20grams, with oiled hands roll into balls and place on lightly oiled (or covered with non stick parchment) baking tray. Wet the handle of a wooden spoon and plunge it into the centre of each cookies and stretch until the hole is approx 1 1/2cm wide.
- Mix egg wash ingredients together and brush onto each cookie and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake on middle shelf for 15 minutes, remove and sprinkle with lemon zest *optional then leave to cool on baking trays before transferring to a air-tight container.