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Briwat – Moroccan Almond Pastry

Briwat. Briouat. Briouate. However you spell it, this Moroccan sweet is so popular for families and is one of my favorites growing up.

If you ever made samboosa, this dessert is like the sweet version of it. The term briwat actually stands for any dish that is filled in thin paper such as spring rolls and they can be sweet or savory. The savory ones can have anything from chicken, shrimp and vermicelli, or spicy minced beef. The sweet version is filled with a nut paste, typically from almonds, fried, and then soaked in honey after. The paper they use in Morocco and across North Africa is called warqa which is hard to find here but spring roll paper works wonders as well!

A lot of sweets all across the Maghreb get a bath in honey after baking or frying. In Libya, we do a honey syrup bath with magrood as well as baklawa. If you got honey and almonds, there’s basically a ton of desserts you can make with those two staple ingredients.

Some recipes will call for raw almonds, some call for fried, some call for a mix of fried and raw, but my favorite way is to roast the almonds in the oven with some olive oil. You can even use cooking argan oil for a different flavor profile. Since the briwat will be fried, I prefer to roast the almonds rather than fry them. They elevate the taste of the almonds and the smell alone is so fragrant.

Some variations:

  • You can also add a splash of orange blossom water to the honey. I always do it and it enhances the flavor so much. You can choose to only add it to the honey, add it to both the filling and the honey, or just the filling.
  • You can fry or roast the almonds after blanching.
  • It’s also very common to add mastic gum, just about a pinch or two to this recipe. That is how my grandma always made it and it was the secret to getting the filling soft and prevent it from drying out.


2 cups raw almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 tablepsoon flour
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cup honey
vegetable oil for frying
sesame seeds (optional garnish)


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Blanch the almonds. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the raw almonds and boil JUST for 1 minute. Immediately after 1 minute, drain the water and run cold water over them to cool them down. Slide the almond between two fingers and the skin should pop up easily. Do this with the rest of the almonds.
Toss the almonds in olive oil. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes or just until golden. Allow the almonds to cool down.
To a food processor, add the almonds, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and orange blossom water. Grind until you have a smooth thick paste. It should not be crumbly or grainy. Portion out 1 to 2 teaspoon of the dough onto a tray or parchment paper.
Prepare your flour mixture for sealing the briwat. Just combine flour and water in a small bowl and mix that together.
For the egg roll papers, slice into long strips with a 2 inch width. Keep them sandwiched in between dampened napkins to prevent them from drying out.
Place a ball of the almond paste at one edge of an egg roll paper strip. Fold small triangles tightly and once you're at the last fold, add the flour mixture to glue it shut. Repeat with the rest.
Preheat oil for frying in a large shallow pan. You only need to add enough oil to cover half of the briwat. While the oil is heating, add honey to a pot over low heat/simmer. The heat will thin out the honey so it is not thick to coat the briwat.
Once the oil is hot enough, add the briwat. Allow to get golden brown on one side before flipping over, this process happens very fast so keep an eye out. Once the other side is golden brown as well, use a slotted spoon so any excess oil drains out and transfer to the honey. Allow it to sit in the honey for 3 minutes and push them down to ensure the whole thing is coated. Then take them out of the honey and place on a plate or in a container. You can choose to sprinkle them with sesame seeds now. While the briwat are soaking in the honey, you can also start frying the next batch. Doing these two processes at the same time is very efficient.
Store at room temperature in an air tight container or pop in the fridge and freezer to store for an extended time.

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