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From Cooking at the Kasbah (Canada, UK), by Kitty Morse.

Selloh, a sweetened blend of toasted flour, ground sesame seeds, and ground almonds, is reputed for its fortifying quality. For this reason, it is given to mothers after childbirth. It is also a popular midnight snack during the holy month of Ramadan. Moroccan cooks traditionally present selloh mounded on a platter. I prefer to serve them in the shape of truffles, set in individual fluted paper cups.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/4 cups whole blanched almonds, toasted
1 cup (about 6 ounces) unhulled sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tbsp aniseed, toasted
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Powdered sugar for coating
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, for garnish


Toasting Nuts:

To toast on top of the stove: Put the nuts in a dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Shake the pan back and forth, or stir with a wooden spoon, watching carefully until the nuts turn a light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the nuts from the pan and let cool.

To toast in the oven: Preheat the oven to 375F (80C). Place the nuts on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake, stirring once or twice, until the nuts turn a light brown, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Toasting Seeds: Pick over the seeds to remove any impurities. Heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat and toast the seeds, stirring constantly, until they begin to emit a more intense aroma. Set aside to cool. For a large amount of seeds, toast in the oven as for nuts, above.

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, toast the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours together in batches, stirring frequently, until they emit a pleasant toasted aroma and turn lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the cinnamon and the sugar. Set aside.

In a food processor, finely grind the almonds, sesame seeds, and aniseed. Add to the flour mixture. Stir in the honey and butter. Mix well with your hands.

Roll 2 tsp of the mixture between your palms to make balls 1 to 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Roll them in powdered sugar and set them in fluted paper cups. Garnish each with a slivered almond and serve.

Selloh keep well for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: makes about 40 to 45 confections

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