Alex: what are you making mommy?
Me: I’m making Moroccan anise cookies.
Alex: can you make American cookies?
Me: no, I’m craving mama’s (my grandma) cookies.
Oh mama mama, I wish you were alive now to see how I bring to life your recipes. I miss you and your food all the time.
Reifat are simple, everyday biscuits which Moroccan Jews like to dip in fresh mint tea.
I make them with half of the amount of sugar and I add salt, which isn’t authentic but taste better for my delicate pallet.
I don’t make them as often as I would like to because once I start I can’t stop.
They make a great healthy snack to pack in the lunch bag or when you’re on the go.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, oil, eggs, and seeds. Add the orange juice gradually into the bowl with one hand, while mixing the ingredients with the other.
Knead the dough for a minute or two until the ingredients are well combined and the dough is soft and a little sticky. If the dough is too dry, add a little bit more orange juice, if it’s too sticky add a little bit flour. Cover with with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 340°F.
Divide the dough into three chunks. Put each chunk on a baking paper sheet, and sprinkle some flour on top. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin as possible rectangle in the size of your baking sheets.
This part is really important – use a fork (or a dough prickler) to poke holes all over the dough.
You can use a pizza cutter to cut the edges to make a straight lines (a bit crooked is fine too), and to cut the dough into little squares or with a sharp knife.
Sprinkle some salt on top and transfer the cut dough with baking paper onto the baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes or until cookie-crackers are nicely browned on top and bottom. Let them cool completely on a rack before you transfer to a container or a zip lock bag.
Use a spatula to transfer the crackers that are brown on the edges to center of the baking pan or remove them from the oven and put them on a cooling rack.