Traditionally called rifat or les galettes, these crispy mildly sweet Moroccan biscuits are regarded as a digestif to be served with tea after a meal. For me, these anise seed biscuits taste of home, and my mother will bring over a giant container of these homemade treats whenever she visits. When I finally perfected these biscuits, it filled me with pride and joy to share a part of my childhood with my children.
Notes: Dough scraps can be combined and rolled out again to make more biscuits. By rolling out the dough onto parchment paper and baking the biscuits directly on the parchment, the cookies are handled less and the risk of breaking them is minimal. Plus, it reduces clean-up significantly. For storage, the biscuits can be stored in an airtight container or cookie jar for up to 2 months.
This recipe is excerpted with permission from “The Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings” by Kim Kushner. Copyright © 2022 by Kim Kushner.
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup neutral oil such as avocado oil, vegetable oil or rice bran oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4–5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 Tbsp anise seed
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand-held mixer), combine orange juice, oil, egg, and vanilla. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes, until creamy.
- Add 4 cups flour, sugar, cornstarch and baking powder.
- Mix on low speed until combined and a soft, pliable dough forms. If tacky, add more flour as needed, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix on low. Add sesame seeds, anise seeds, and salt and mix on low until just combined.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal-sized balls. Place a dough ball in between 2 large sheets of parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle with a thickness of 1/8-inch. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and set aside.
- Transfer the rolled-out doughon the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Use a dough docker or a fork, pierce the dough once or twice.
- Using a fluted pastry wheel or regular knife, cut a grid shape onto the dough, creating rectangular biscuits of about 2 x 1 1/2 inches. (The biscuit rectangles will not separate from the dough—the cutter perforates the dough and, once baking, the biscuits can break apart easily.)
- Gently pull away any leftover dough scraps around the border of the dough and re-roll to make more biscuits. Repeat the process with the remaining 3 dough balls.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking. Set aside to cool completely, then gently break apart the biscuits.