Fekkass ou Fakass Marocain!
As a mother of three, I have been baking Fakkas or Mini-Fekkas for many years now. They taste delicious and easy to make. The Moroccan term Fekkass pronouced as /fk and the " s/k" is pronounced as "ق" in Moroccan Language, is used to refer to a certain type of cookie, which is long, dry, hard and twice-baked. There are so many variations of Fekkas: sweet and savoury flavours to suit all tastes.
Every occasion is a great occasion to bake and serve Fekkass. However the Almond Fakkass, the sweet and traditional version is the most popular one and largely appreciated, and served in any special occasion in Morocco. Because of their long storage ability (especially the sweet version), Fekkass are an ideal treat to bake any day, any time. Traditionally, Fekkass are made in very large batches, and can be stored in an airtight plastic container or in a freezer. In fact, I have never been able to store these lovely bites, every time I make them, they just disappear in 2 or 3 days.
Fakkass is largely appreciated in Morocco that every city developed its own flavored version, and if you have a chance to stop at a Moroccan Patisserie (especially in big cities as Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, Fes etc..), that are selling Fekkass, you will be overwhelmed by the variety, beauty, flavours and colours of these lovely bites. So creative and delicious!
The classic Fekkass (sweet version) is made with whole crushed almonds but it can also be made using other type of nuts or combinations : Hazelnuts, Brazilnut, Cashew, Chestnut, Pecan, Peanut, Pistachio, Walnut etc.....), flavored with orange blossom water, ground cinnamon, etc....
1-The Traditional Way, known as Twice-Baked Fekkas:
1.1. Put the logs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them.
1.2. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven.
1.3.Cover the semi-cooked logs with a moist towel for 12 to 24 hours.
1.4.Place the logs on a cutting board, using a very sharp knife, and by a fast single cut, cut logs into consistent slices. The size of the slices depends if you're making Fekkas or Mini-Fekkass.
2.Or the Freezer-Way :
2.1. Freeze the logs for two to three hours.
2.1. The frozen dough is easy to slice, it will be stiff and super easy to work with. Remove one stick of chilled dough at a time and leave the other logs in the freezer until you're ready to work with .
2.3.Cut into slices, using kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife.
3.Or the Refrigerated Dough:
3.1. Place the logs in the fridge for about 4 hours or more.
3.2. Remove one chilled stick at a time and leave the other logs in the fridge until you're ready to work with.
3.3.Cut into slices, using kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife.
1.Transfer the slices on baking sheets (allowing about 0.2 cm between them, otherwise they will stick together).
2.Bake until golden and crisp on the outside. It's very important not to over or under bake them. Make sure to check the Mini-Fekkas from time to time. Thinner or smaller ones will brown more quickly!
3.Allow the Mini-Fekkas to cool for 15 to 20 minutes on the baking sheet.
4.Then use a spatula to loosen the Mini-Fekkas from the pan. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. It's important not to store them while they are still warm, otherwise they will not be crunchy.
Mamatkamal, K. El Mary