A recipe for Twabaa (Algerian Lemon and Olive Oil Cookies). These lightly crisp and crumbly cookies are shaped into rings and baked until golden.
I came across this delicious and easy recipe for Twabaa (Ta’aba) flavored with lemon and olive oil over on Rosa’s Yummy Yums. These lightly crisp and crumbly Algerian cookies get their fat completely from olive oil, no butter needed. Make sure to use a good quality oil to help the flavors shine. I formed the cookies into rings, but have also seen them shaped into cylinders. They are perfect as an afternoon snack with coffee or tea.
I was particularly drawn to the fun way of making the Twabaa. With moistened hands, tablespoon-sized pieces of dough are rolled into smooth balls and place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Use a circular handle of a wooden spoon (or even the back end of a cooking chopstick or thick dowel rod) to make a hole in the middle of each cookie and twist to expand the hole to about 1/2 inch wide. Be sure to continue to dip your hands and the spoon handle lightly in water between cookies to keep the dough from sticking.
I added 1/2 tablespoon of orange blossom water to the egg before brushing over the cookies and sprinkling with sugar. You can also sprinkle to cookies with a little more lemon zest or even rub the zest into the sugar. If you want all the cookies the exact same size, weigh the tablespoons of dough to make sure they equal 20 grams each.
Check out Taste of Beirut to find these cookies made with orange zest in place of the lemon.
To keep the Twabaa halal, use a halal vanilla extract or one vanilla bean.
Looking for more Algerian recipes?
Twabaa (Algerian Lemon and Olive Oil Cookies) Recipe
Adapted from Rosa’s Yummy Yums
Twabaa (Algerian Lemon and Olive Oil Cookies)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (210 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest ~1 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract halal or 1 vanilla bean if avoiding alcohol
- 2 1/2 cups (320 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tablespoon orange blossom water optional
- Granulated or raw sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line two baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until light and pale. Slowly beat in olive oil, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the egg mixture until just combined.
- Scoop out a tablespoon-sized ball of dough (0.7 ounces/20 grams). Using lightly wet hands, roll the dough into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, placing them two inches apart.
- Wet the circular handle of a wooden spoon and use it to poke a hole in the center of the ball of dough, twisting to expand the size slightly to a little over half an inch (1 1/2 cm). Wet the handle between balls of dough.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg with the orange blossom water. Brush over the cookies and sprinkle with additional sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven until golden, 15-18 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Store in airtight container for up to a week.