Merveilles, chin-chin, atchomon: A West African treat you will not be able to stop eating

Name: Merveilles, chin-chin, atchomon (gluten-free version)
Eaten in: West Africa
Foodie: Gen

I grew up around Merveilles (Côte d’Ivoire), also called Atchomon in other West African countries (e.g. Togo): the best way I can describe them is as peanut size cookies which taste wonders and can be eaten any time of the day as a snack. I use to purchase these cookies or treats from street vendors while living in Côte d’Ivoire but I had not eaten any in 15 years since moving to Canada. Long story short: I was craving Merveilles so much the other day that I decided to give a go at a recipe… with a twist: since I cannot eat off the road Merveilles anymore, I need to be able to make my own gluten free ones. And the good news is: the experiment has been successful, and my gluten free Merveilles taste just like those old Ivorian ones I remember.

Merveilles, chin-chin, atchomon (gluten-free version)

Serves 4-6
Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 2 hours
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Snack

Ingredients

  • 4 and ¾ cups of gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 and ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 and ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Frying oil
  • Remark: these quantities might be different if using ordinary flour rather than a gluten free mix

Directions

1. Pour all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl


2. Add the wet ingredients and knead until you obtain a supple dough

3. Roll out the dough so that it has a thickness of about o.5 cm

4. Cut the “flattened” dough into pieces of approximately 0.5 cm by 0.5 cm

5. Fry the Merveilles in hot oil until they have a golden color but are not too dark

6. After removing the Merveilles from the frying pan, let them cool on absorbing paper. Note that when Merveilles are hot or warm just after frying, they are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. However Merveilles are meant to be eaten when they have reached room temperature and they are crunchy both on the outside and the inside.

 

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