Hi folks! First of all, a shameless plug. A couple of people mentioned to me that they wouldn’t be averse to the idea of buying a print of some of the photos I took on my road-trip from France to Sweden. I’ve set up a page now here where you can do just that. I’ve teamed up with FotoMoto to offer prints, canvases and cards in pretty much every size imaginable which you can order right from the page so if you like the photos, and want to send one as a card to a friend, or have one on your wall, please go and have a look!
On to the recipe though – so what’s a “bachkoutou” I hear you asking? Bachkoutou, sometimes written “bechkoutou” are my newest discovery, and fast making their way up to the top of my list of favourite biscuits. They’re a Tunisian biscuit, traditionally made for Eid, but they can equally be made any time. They’re often made in large batches (and by large I actually mean “huge”) by households, and then taken to a local bakery for baking. As a result, creating a batch of bachkoutou can literally be almost a day’s work, involving several family members, and as such it’s often something reserved for special occasions.
Once at the bakery, they’ll be placed into the giant ovens once all the bread has been baked for the day and baked to perfection. Sadly this kind of baking environment isn’t that easy to recreate at home. As a result, bachkoutou have a tendency to be tricky to perfect. However, my attempts still yielded a delicious, incredibly moreish biscuit, so I hope you’ll take my word for it and give them a try!
When my mother-in-law told me that these were her favourite biscuits of all time I will admit I had my misgivings. How could they possibly be that good? I’ll say this as well – once they were baked and I’d had a couple, I still didn’t see what the fuss was about. But then I had a few more. And a few more. And a few more… and then it hit me: this innocent-looking little cookie is actually incredibly good. It’s got crunch, it’s got crispness, it’s not too sweet (in fact it’s not really sweet at all, but has just enough sugar to be awesome!), and if you pair them up with a cup of coffee you can easily wade through a great quantity of them in no time at all.
A couple of notes on the creation of these. Nuts, I would say, are required. You don’t have to add them I suppose, but they won’t be the same if you skip them. Conversely, while I used almonds, you can equally use cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts… the choice is yours.
As for the construction of these – they’re often made in a meat grinder. If you have one, and you have a star template for the place where the meat comes out (great accurate terminology there!) then use that and simply grind away, cutting off lengths. If you don’t have one, like me, then you can also manually push the dough through a large, fluted piping nozzle. This is messy and time-consuming, but works in a pinch. You could of course do it the lazy way and just roll out lengths and cut them up. The taste will be just as good, even if they won’t look quite as pretty.
Have a great day everyone, and give these a try if you have a chance!
- 500g Plain Flour
- 180g Sugar
- 175ml Sunflower Oil
- 175ml Water
- 100g Finely Chopped Almonds
- 1tbsp Vanilla Sugar
- 2tsps Baking Powder
- 1tsp Baking Soda
- Start off by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 fan). Stir together the oil, water, and sugar until well blended.
- Mix together the rest of the ingredients (chopped almonds, flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder, and baking soda). Pour in the oil, sugar, and water mixture and mix well to form a dough.
- Form the bachkoutou in lengths of about 10cm. The easiest ways are either using a meat grinder with a star output plate, pushing the dough manually through a large piping nozzle, or simply rolling lengths and cutting to size.
- Place the lengths onto an oiled baking sheet, allowing a little room for spread between each one, and then bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until a pale golden colour.
- Remove, and allow to cool on the tray before enjoying.
- Ovens are finicky beasts. I would recommend only baking a few bachkoutou at a time and cooling them between each batch, until you're able to find the ideal temperature and time combination!