Ras el hanout cookies

in Desserts, Taste -

RasCookies-620-3 Ras el hanout is probably my favourite spice blend; I’m not exactly sure how/when I discovered it, but ever since I did, I often find a way to sneak it in desserts (like in this apple cake, or these delicious no-bake fig and sesame balls) and few savoury dishes.

The first recipe I ever tried featuring ras el hanout was these cookies. I had no idea what to expect and was a bit apprehensive at first, as I knew there was ginger in the mix and I’m not a massive fan of ginger snaps (although I will still eat them if they’re right in front of me- duh!). However, when they came out of the oven, the smell alone killed me.


Seriously, these are the most fragrant cookies ever! The smell of ginger, cloves and cinnamon will fill up your kitchen and when you bite into them, you’ll get this strong, yet not overpowering, hit from all the spices also included in the blend, like cayenne and black pepper, cumin and coriander.


That first time I made them, 35 or so cookies, soft and a little chewy, fragrant and packing just the right amount of heat- they were all gone on the same day. I had some help from friends but still, if that’s not proof of ras el hanout’s power, I don’t know what is.


INGREDIENTS (recipe slightly adapted from here)

2 cups & 3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 teaspoons soda

1 1/2 tablespoon ras el hanout (if you can’t find it, you can easily make your own)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large egg

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon ras el hanout

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the white sugar and ras el hanout in a small bowl and set aside.

Over a medium bowl, sift the flour, soda, salt and 1 1/2 tablespoon ras el hanout.

In a separate bowl, beat the olive oil, light brown sugar and egg until fluffy.

Add the flour mixture gradually, beating to incorporate in between.

Take bits of the mixture (about 1 tablespoon at a time), shape into loose balls between your hands and dip into the white sugar/ras el hanout mixture.

Place in a parchment paper- lined baking tray, leaving about 8 cm in between (the cookies will spread during baking)

Bake for 8-10’, until golden brown, rotating halfway through, .

Let the cookies rest on the baking tray for at least 5’, before transferring on a wire rack to cool completely.

4 Responses

  1. john says:

    There seems to be something missing – or else, more likely, something I don’t quite understand. In your second step, you say to combine the sugar and the ras el hanout and set aside. Then in the next step, you say to sift the ras el hanout with the flour, soda and salt. I’m sure it’s me not knowing how to cook – and being an old man whose wife used to make the cookies before her recent death. But the ras el hanout seems to have to be in two places at the same time, and I don’t have the ingenuity to make that happen. These cookies do sound so delicious and I’d love to make them, so I hope you’ll be kind enough to show me where I’ve gone wrong.

    Thanks so much,

    • amaryllis says:

      Thanks for stopping by, John. It does seems quite confusing, doesn’t it? In the ingredients and recipe, ras el hanout is indeed used twice: once when it has to be combined with the sugar, with which it has to be combined for the cookies to be rolled into and then a second time (different quantity), for the cookie batter. Hope this clarifies things a bit and you do give them a try!

  2. john says:

    Thanks so much for answering, Amaryllis! I appreciate your taking the time. Sadly, I’m still confused. Your recipe above does list the ras el hanout 2 times (I get that part now – I’m learning!) but it seems to be the same amount – 1 1/2 Tablespoons) in each case. Is that correct? And I’m definitely going to be trying these cookies!

  3. John A. Buckley says:

    Problem solved. I made the assumption that the second 1 1/2 Tablespoon was meant to be teaspoon. Correct of not, I went with it, and those cookies are delicious! I largest compliment I can give you is to say that my wife would have been jealous! Thank you!

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