These honey dipped almond briouat (pronounced brie-oo-at) are triangular Moroccan pastries made with a light pastry crust and filled with an orange blossom almond paste.
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In Moroccan cuisine, desserts are served all throughout the day. Whether it's mid afternoon with a tray of Moroccan mint tea or Moroccan coffee first thing in the morning, you're sure to find something sweet.
Many Moroccan desserts are made with honey, orange blossom water, and some kind of ground nut paste (like this almond paste).
These gazelle horn cookies and the kind of briouat we are making today are excellent representations of traditional Moroccan desserts.
Here's what you will need to make these almond briouat:
- phyllo dough, defrosted sheets cut into fourths, lengthwise
- raw almonds
- orange blossom water
- white granulated sugar
- butter, softened to room temperature
- canola or vegetable oil
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Almond Briouat
Prep the almonds. Blanch the almonds in hot water for a minute before cooling on a tray. Wedge the almonds between two fingers to remove the peels and discard all peels.
Roast half of the almonds. On a parchment lined sheet tray, roast the almonds at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to turn a light golden brown.
Make the almond filling. In a food processor combine the cooled roasted almonds, raw almonds, half of the orange blossom water, all of the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and half of the butter. Pulse until an even paste is formed.
Shape the almond paste. Roll small teaspoon sized balls of the paste.
Hint: With two fingers, shape into a small, triangular-esque circle.
Prep the phyllo dough. Once fully defrosted, cut into fourths lengthwise with a knife. Use a few strips at a time. Melt the remaining butter and brush the strips with butter before adding a piece of the almond paste at one end.
Roll the briouat. Fold the phyllo dough over the almond paste, continuing the pattern, folding one triangle over the next, until you've used all of the strip of phyllo dough. Repeat this until the ingredients run out.
Fry the briouat. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry briouat on each side until golden brown all around.
Toss in honey with orange blossom water. Transfer the almond briouat directly from the hot oil into another frying pan with the honey and remaining orange blossom water melted together over medium low heat. Flip to coat before moving to a plate to enjoy!
Warqa vs. Filo Dough
In Morocco we typically use a pastry dough called warqa for briouat and many other traditional recipes.
While it's easy to find in many places, it can be equally difficult depending on where you live. If it's not accessible to you, you can get away with layering 2-3 sheets of filo dough to substitute one sheet of warqa.
Alternatively, you could try making your own pastry dough. Either way, these almond briouat will be delicious so don't stress too much when making this choice.
There are actually many variaties of briouat, with fillings made with ground beef, cheese, and even shrimp!
- Meat filling - a chicken or ground beef filling with classic Moroccan spices is really delicious and takes briouat in a totally different savory direction
- Shrimp - seafood in general can be equally delicious and reminiscent of Moroccan seafood bastilla
- Cheese filled - similar to the popular cheese filled rghaif, cheese filled briouats are truly an experience
What to Eat Them With
These almond briouat are usually served with:
You will need a pastry brush to brush the filo dough with butter and honey.
These cookies store really well in an air tight jar in the fridge.
They can keep for up to 1 month, a fact I know to be true because my dad would bring them home to us every time he went to visit his mom and they kept tremendously well!