It’s time for one of my favorite treats known as Cornes de Gazelle in French or literally translated Gazelle Horns. These are actually traditional Moroccan and Algerian pastries which I have always enjoyed while I was living in France. I mentioned several times the influence of Arabic cuisine in France and these are some of their most popular pastries. I must admit that I do not know the original Arabic name but all I can say is that they are REALLY good! Truth is that I never made them myself before since I could buy them very easily but it seems that there aren’t many Moroccans in Toronto and so …. no pastries for me. I decided to challenge myself and try making them from scratch and I was actually quite pleased with the result so I’m sharing this fantastic recipe with you!
So what makes them so good? First of all there are 2 textures in these cookies. The first layer is a buttery and crumbly dough and the second is a soft and sweet almond filling. Besides the texture, I also really love how flavorful this cookie is thanks to orange blossom water, cinnamon and nutmeg. It truly is a fantastic pastry! Even though they are rolled in icing sugar, they are actually not too sweet and they go so well with any kind of drink (even though I enjoy it most with tea). If you have some time on your hands, this is a great recipe to try, especially if you are interested in trying Arabic pastries other than baklava.
Let’s start baking!
- 425 g ground almonds
- 150 g sugar
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 15 g butter
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 50 ml water + 2 tbsp orange blossom water
- 400 g flour
- 150 g butter
- 1 egg white
- 100 ml water + 2 tbsp orange blossom water
- Pinch of salt
1- In a mixing bowl, add the ground almonds, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well.
2- Add in the honey and butter and start mixing by hand. Add the water mixed with orange blossom water and mix well with your hands until you get a solid paste. Cover and let it rest.
3- In another mixing bowl, add in the flour, salt and egg white. Mix well.
4- Melt the butter and add it into the bowl. Mix well, then add the water mixed with orange blossom water and start kneading until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough.
5- Cut the dough in 4 and start rolling it until it is about 1 cm thick. Then cut squares of 7 cm.
6- Preheat the oven at 355 F. Take about 1 tsp of filling and start forming a crescent with it. Place it on the square of dough and fold both corners together (see below).
Then seal all of the edges by pressing down the dough. Shape into a crescent and repeat until you used all the dough and filling. Bake for 20 min.
7- Once the cornes de gazelles have cooled down, brush them with some orange blossom water. Roll them in icing sugar and enjoy!
These little Arabic pastries are a pure delight and an absolute must try! They have just the right amount of sweetness and I love the crunchy outside and soft inside. They are great paired with Moroccan mint tea or coffee.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comment section what you think about this recipe and if you liked it.