Sweet & Savory Biscuits (Reifat)

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 cookies.

Oh mama mama, I miss you. 

Mama is my maternal grandmother. She used to make a huge container of these cookies every week. And everyday at 4 o’clock she would have them with kash da tai, cup of tea, Moroccan fresh mint tea.
I did a few minor adjustment to my grandmother’s cookies. I make them thinner and less sweet. Sometimes, for unnecessary reason, I play with this recipe and add to the dough other herbs and seeds such as flax seeds or dried rosemary. I even made them gluten-free, when I thought that gluten is my enemy

If you don’t like anise you can make them without. But before you jump into conclusions, you should know that even people who are anti anise or licorice are pro these cookies. Everyone loves them. They are addictive.

One more thing, anise seeds and fennel seeds are not the same. Anise seeds are more delicate and sweeter.
IMG_0521IMG_0423IMG_0429IMG_0471IMG_0473IMG_0479Piercing the dough is important. You can do it with a fork or with dough prickler

Sweet & Savory Biscuits (Reifat)

Fragrant and crunchy cookies to dip in tea.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Snack, Sweet
Cuisine: Moroccan, Vegetarian
Diet: Vegetarian
Keyword: Baking, Cookies, Dairy-Free
Servings: 40 cookies
Author: Shelly
Cost: 3


  • 2 baking sheets
  • baking paper


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 eggs*
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds - optional
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds - optional
  • 1 - 1¼ cup orange juice - preferably freshly squeezed but pre-packed will work too - nor the time to squeeze


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk. Add eggs, olive oil and seeds and stir to form a shaggy dough. Add the orange juice gradually with one hand, while combining the ingredients with the other hand.
  • Knead the dough for 1-2 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. If it's too dry, add some orange juice. If it’s too sticky, add some flour. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 340°F. Divide the dough into three. Roll each chunk into a ball and place on the baking paper. Flour the dough lightly and the rolling pin and roll it into a 1⁄4 inch (1 cm) thick rectangle.
  • This part is important: Use a fork or dough prickler to poke holes all over the dough. Then using a pizza cutter, trim the edges and cut the rectangle into 2.5” x 2.5” squares or 2”x 3.5” rectangles.
  • Place the cookies gently on the baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the tray and baking until the cookies are tanned or golden. If the cookies on the edges are golden, remove them and continue to bake the rest.
  • Let the cookies cool on a cooling rack before you store them in an airtight container or zip lock bag. They last up to 2 weeks (If you're not addicted to them).


* For vegan version: Instead of the eggs, add more orange or clementine juice to the dough, about 2-4 tablespoons.
- You can add herbs such as rosemary or herb de Provence (1⁄2 teaspoon crushed)
- You can use nut milk instead of orange juice.
- Play with the shape of the cookies.
- Add poppy seeds.


    • These cookies are seriously addictive…. They were finished in one seating…. We made them Thursday night and tried them Friday and by Shabat morning….. they were gooooone… we are making them again today but they will be packed in small ziplocks and frozen hopefully to be eaten gradually…. But we cannot be sure of that….😇

  1. ממש ענית לרצונות הכמוסים שלי,, זוכרת איך הייתי מבקשת
    עוד ועוד כאלה במוגדור עם התה שלי ואף פעם לא היה מספיק לי
    גם בגלל שכולכם לא הפסקתם לקחת לי,, אני מאד שמחה שכול
    (המלאכים שלי כל כך אוהבים אותן,, (את העוגיות הניפלאות האלה
    (,, אנסה להכיו אותן בעצמי (ואת יודעת איזו משימה זאת בשבילי
    המון אהבה וגעגועים,, ממני

  2. תודה. איזה כיף היה לקבל את כל התגובות החמות והמקסימות של כולכם. אסתי, לגמרי שכחתי שהם היו מגישים אותםבמוגדור עם התה. כשתבואי ב – thanks giving אני מבטיחה להכין אותם שוב. תודה שוב לכולם!

  3. רוצה לנסות את המתכון אבל…
    כתוב לערבב בהתחלה אבקת אפיה אם כי אבקת אפייה לא רשומה בכלל במרכיבים.
    כמה אבקת אפייה לשים?
    חשבתי לנסות את זה בלי סוכר. ניסית? מישהו ניסה?

    • הי ענת! סליחה!!! צריך להוסיף חצי כף אבקת אפייה למתכון. אני לפעמים מכינה אותם עם כף סוכר וכפית מלח שאני מפזרת אחרי שאני מרדדת את הבצק. במקרה אתמול הכנתי אותם וחתכתי בכמות של הסוכר. הוספתי גם זרעי פשתן ופרג. הם יצאו טעימות. בהצלחה.

    • Hi Leah, you right it says fennel seeds. I accidentally forgot to write anise or fennel seeds. I changed it to anise. Thank you for bringing it up 🙂

    • Hi Lia, you’re right, it wasn’t there, I am sorry. I fixed it. Add the oil when you add the eggs and seeds. Before adding the orange juice. Please lmk how they came out. Thank you!

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