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Ghouribi (Moroccan Sugar Cookies)

Reprinted with permission of Joan Nathan

On the morning of Purim, Moroccan Jews decorate the table with flowers and sweets. Marzipan-stuffed prunes with walnuts and such cookies as ghouribi are a few of the delicacies. Ghouribi are easily prepared walnut cookies, which children enjoy rolling with their hands.

Makes about 30 cookies

1 cup vegetable oil or butter
1 cup sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely ground walnuts or almonds
Cinnamon for sprinkling

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly flour an ungreased cookie sheet.

2) Place oil and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Gradually add the flour, a cup at a time, and knead well. Blend in the nuts.

3) When the dough feels smooth, use the palm of your hand to roll it into balls the size of an egg. Pat into a round cookie about 2 inches in diameter. The cookie should not be flat.

4) Place on the cookie sheet and sprinkle the center of each cookie with cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes. Do not let the cookies become even slightly brown; they must remain off-white.

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