Gazelle horns (also known as Cornes de Gazelle) are a classic Moroccan cookie made with an almond filling and thin pastry shell.
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These pastries get their name from their shape, which looks like the horns of the antelope, but they are also known as cornes (or cornets) de gazelle in France.
In Morocco, they are made with thin pastry sheets and stuffed with an almond filling before the cookies are baked, glazed and sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds or almonds.
The result is a super delicate crisp pasty shell, and a soft, chewy almond center. Truly delicious and a wonderful combination of textures!
They are traditionally served with afternoon tea in Morocco, paired with a variety of other nut-based pastries, cookies, and mint tea.
Here's what you'll need to make Gazelle Horns:
For the Filling:
- almonds (can be peeled or unpeeled)
- white granulated sugar
- orange blossom water
For the Pastry Dough:
- all purpose flour
- orange blossom water
- cold water
For the Wash:
See recipe card for quantities.
Shape the filling into small logs about 2.5 inches in length (see photos for reference) and set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Make the dough. Start by whisking the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and orange water before mixing with your hands until the flour starts to resemble pea shaped balls. Keep mixing and incorporating the flour, orange water, and butter together, kneading and adding cold water as needed to keep things from sticking too much.
Assemble the cookies. Once the dough has formed, divide into fourths or sixths and roll out on a flour dusted surface until thin but still durable. Place the almond paste logs in the middle of the dough in sections, leaving space to fold the dough over the paste.
Using your hands, pat down the dough around the almond paste to get rid of any air bubbles. Cut around the paste in a semi circle using a pastry roller and fold the dough covered paste into a crescent shape. Transfer cookies back to the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this step until all the dough and/or paste is finished.
Brush the cookies with orange blossom water before baking at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until they begin to get golden brown on the outside. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!
As mentioned before, some pastry shops will sprinkle toppings like powdered sugar on these classic cookies.
Here are some of my favorite ways to finish Gazelle Horns:
- Sesame Seeds - a light sprinkle of sesame seeds adds a fun textural element to the already delicious cookies.
- Shaved Almonds - a few shaved almond pieces can also add a fun crunch and clue guests into what's on the inside!
- Chocolate Dipped - this one is not at all traditional... but SO GOOD. We already knew chocolate and almonds go together, so this is no surprise.
Special Equipment & Ingredients
You will also need orange blossom water for both the filling and garnish.
Orange water is a commonly used ingredient in Moroccan pastries and desserts alike, so invest in a good quality bottle and stick around for more ideas on how to use it!
As a kid, my dad used to visit our family in Morocco every year on his summer break from teaching. He would always return with boxes of cookies, pastries, handmade ceramics, and of course, gazelle horns.
The cookies somehow always tasted fresh, even though they had just flown across the Atlantic ocean in an overhead bin.
Gazelle horns store best in an air tight container.
They can keep long enough to travel over 5,000 miles, or up to 2 weeks.