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Shared by Arielle (Nir) Mamiye and Efrat Navon

Rifat (Moroccan Tea Biscuits)

Yield: 10 to 15 servingsTime: 1 h 30 min

Rifat (Moroccan Tea Biscuits)

Yield: 10 to 15 servingsTime: 1 h 30 min

Family Journey

Atlas Mountains, MoroccoCasablancaJerusalem area, Israel
AshdodNew York

This recipe was shared by Arielle (Nir) Mamiye and Efrat Navon. Read more about their family in "A Moroccan Grandmother's Love Is Rolled Into Her Couscous" and try their recipe for hand-rolled couscous.

Esther traditionally prepared rifat with a pasta machine. The rifat can also be prepared by hand using a rolling pin. Rifat can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days.


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½  cups orange juice
  • 1 ½  cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons anise seeds
DessertsVegetarianPareveNorth AfricaMiddle East


  • Step 1

    Make the dough: Place the vegetable oil, orange juice, sugar, and eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix until combined well. Set aside. Sift the flour and baking powder into a seperate large mixing bowl. Add the anise and sesame seeds and stir to combine. Make a large well in the center of the bowl. Gently pour the wet ingredients into the well. Use a fork to slowly stir in the edges of the well to mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients. Continue stirring until the mixture forms a dough. Knead the dough in the bowl for about 2 to 4 minutes until the dough is completely smooth and the ingredients are well incorporated. The dough should be sticky. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line four large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

  • Step 3

    Shape the dough: Attach a pasta machine to a counter or add a pasta extension to stand mixer. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and divide it into 6 even pieces. Take one piece of dough and set the remaining 5 pieces aside. Use your fingers to flatten the dough into a rectangle about 2 inches thick. Starting at the thickest setting of the pasta machine (most likely #1), feed the dough through the machine starting with the short edge of the rectangle and gently catch the flattened dough on the other end with your hand. Reduce the pasta machine to the next narrowest setting (most likely #2) , and again feed the short side of the dough through the machine again. The dough should be about ⅛ inch thick. Place the rolled out dough onto a floured surface. Using a fluted pastry wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into smaller rectangles of about 3 x 2 ½  inches. Peel off any excess dough and reserve. Once the biscuits are shaped, use a pastry hole maker or a fork to poke several holes into each biscuit. Gently transfer the shaped biscuits onto the parchment lined baking trays. If needed, use a knife to help peel the biscuits off of the floured surface. Repeat the dough shaping, cutting and poking process with the remaining 5 pieces of dough. Once all the biscuits are placed on baking trays, transfer them into the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. If needed, bake the biscuits in batches of 2 baking trays at a time. You can shape all the excess dough into one unified piece and make more biscuits using this dough.

  • Step 4

    Set the rifat aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Serve rifat with a side of moroccan tea.

Cook’s Note: 

For Step #4, if using a rolling pin, roll out each of the 6 pieces of dough into a ⅛ inch thick rectangle. Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut each rectangular piece of dough into smaller rectangles the size of about 3 x 2 ½  inches. Poke holes into the rectangles with a pastry hole maker. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.