Boussou La Tmessou is a delectable Algerian pastry that will transport your taste buds to the exotic flavors of North Africa. These delicate diamond-shaped cookies are a beloved treat often enjoyed during festive occasions and family gatherings. With their delightful sweetness and aromatic essence, Boussou La Tmessou is sure to become a favorite in your home. Let’s embark on this delightful culinary journey and learn how to make this traditional Algerian delight!
Origin and history
The origins of Boussou La Tmessou date back to the rich cultural heritage of Algeria, a country with a rich culinary heritage that blends diverse cultural influences. The name “Boussou La Tmessou” translates to “Kiss, but don’t touch” in Arabic, which beautifully captures the essence of this delightful pastry.
The exact historical roots of Boussou La Tmessou are not well-documented, but it is believed that the recipe has been passed down through generations of Algerian families. These mouthwatering diamond-shaped cookies hold a special place in Algerian culture and are often prepared during festive occasions, family gatherings, and religious celebrations.
The tradition of making Boussou La Tmessou is an important part of Algerian culinary customs, with families coming together to bake and enjoy these sweet treats. The unique shape of the cookies, resembling a mouth, symbolizes the act of giving a kiss before savoring the deliciousness of the pastry.
Over time, the recipe for Boussou La Tmessou has been lovingly preserved, and its popularity has spread beyond Algeria’s borders. Today, these delectable cookies are enjoyed by people worldwide, showcasing the global appeal of Algerian cuisine and the cultural significance of this cherished dessert.
Tips and notes
To create a successful recipe for Boussou La Tmessou, here are some tips and notes to keep in mind:
- Opt for high-quality ingredients, such as fresh butter, high-quality flour and sesame seeds, and pure orange blossom water, to enhance the flavor and texture of the cookies.
- The original recipe calls for roasted and ground sesame seeds, adding a nutty and crunchy element. But you can perfectly replace it with almond flour, coconut flakes, a handful of anis seeds or dried raisins, a spoon of spices (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, …)
- To ensure the Boussou La Tmessou cookies turn out perfectly, it’s crucial to use softened butter, as indicated in the recipe to achieve the right texture and consistency. Softened butter incorporates air more effectively, creating a light and tender cookie. When butter is melted, it changes the structure of the dough, making it more liquid and runny. This can lead to flat and greasy cookies that spread too much during baking and lack the desired texture.
- While the classic recipe calls for orange blossom water, you can explore flavor variations by adding vanilla extract, almond extract, rose water, or lemon-orange zest to the dough for a unique twist.
- Pay attention to the consistency of the dough. It should be smooth and soft but not too sticky. Adjust the amount of flour or butter if needed to achieve the right texture.
- After obtaining the dough, don’t knead it and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will make it easier to handle and shape the cookies.
- When shaping the diamond cookies, handle the dough gently to avoid any cracks or breaks. Take your time to create the shape.
- Try to make the cookies as uniform in size as possible for even baking. You can use a cookie cutter or shape them by hand. The Cookies should have dimensions of 2cmx2cm (0.78in x 0.78in) or a diameter of approximately 3cm (1.18in).
- Bake the cookies until they are light golden brown. Be cautious not to overbake, as Boussou La Tmessou are traditionally tender and slightly crumbly.
- After baking, roll the cookies in powdered sugar while they are still warm. This adds a delicate sweetness and enhances their appearance.
- To keep the cookies fresh and preserve their texture, store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Boussou La Tmessou is best served with a cup of traditional Algerian mint tea, allowing the flavors to complement each other harmoniously. Share these delightful cookies with family and friends during festive celebrations or enjoy them as a sweet treat to brighten up your day.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Polvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies);
- Greek Kourabiedes;
- Turkish Kurabiye;
- Lebanese Ma’amoul;
- Italian Wedding Cookies;
Boussou La Tmessou – A Sweet Delight from Algeria
- 150 g butter
- 150 g sesame seeds (roasted and ground)
- 250 g flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 125 ml milk
- 2 tbsp orange blossom water
- 500 g powdered sugar
- 250 ml orange blossom water
- Preheat oven to 320˚F (160˚C). Line a baking sheet with parchment or leave ungreased.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, roasted and ground sesame seeds, and sugar.
- Add the butter and orange blossom water to the dried ingredients. Mix until well combined.
- Mix in the milk until it is absorbed and the dough comes together. It should be barely sticky, almost none. Don't knead it and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will make it easier to handle and shape the cookies.
- On a very lightly floured work surface, roll a piece of dough into a regular pudding that is not too big and cut into diamond shapes that have dimensions of 2cmx2cm (0.78in x 0.78in) or a diameter of approximately 3cm (1.18in).
- Repeat with remaining dough, placing 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake in preheated oven just until the bottoms are barely golden, about 15 minutes. They must not color or turn brown, otherwise they will lose their crumbly and sandy aspect that we are looking for in these little cookies.
- Once cooked, let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet without touching them so as not to break them because they are fragile when they come out of the oven.
- Quickly dip a cooled cookie into the orange blossom water, making sure to briefly coat all sides, then immediately cover in the powdered sugar. Dust with additional powdered sugar if needed.
- Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.