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M'hanncha - Moroccan Snake Pastry


M'hanncha means "the snake" and this pastry certainly looks like one! It is made of filo dough and is then coiled like a snake. It is filled with an almond paste. You can make a large pastry with larger sheets of filo, or you can make individual sizes, which is much easier.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1/2 package of filo dough, or 8 sheets
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups almonds
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • powdered cinnamon for dusting, plus 1 teaspoon


In a food processor, grind sugar and almonds. You can also do this with a mortar and pestle. Add orange blossom water, cinnamon, and butter. Blend into a smooth paste.

Take one sheet of filo dough and place 1/4 cup of the almond paste and spread it down the center, in the shape of a thick pencil. Roll the dough around the paste, and form into a snake coil.

Fry in butter until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Repeat with remaining dough and paste.

Yields 8 pastries.
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