Ma’amul are beloved throughout the region and especially during the Eid celebration at the end of Ramadan. Ma’amul also goes by maamoul. They are typically dusted with some powdered sugar and I sprinkled mine with some rose petals.
These cookies are a bit crumbly as they are made with semolina flour or farina both of which have a bit of coarseness to them. They go great with a nice Arabic coffee or tea. I had no trouble at all using the wooden mold to make them, you simply put the dough in with a scoop of the filling and cover it up with more dough. Give it a press and make sure you don’t over stuff the mold, just so it is even with the wood and turn it over and give it a tap, your decorated ma”amul drop right out! I also garnished with some edible rose petals and powdered sugar. Orange peel or blossoms would also be nice as the Ma’amul are also flavored with both Orange blossom water and rose water.
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Ma'amul Arabian Cookies
A delicious shortbread style cookie stuffed with nuts and date and beautifully decorated.
- 2 cups Semolina
- 1/3 cup Plain Flour
- 1/2 Sugar
- 3/4 cup Salted Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Orange Blossom Water divided
- 2 Tablespoons Rose Water divided
- 1 1/2 Cups Pistachios
- 3 Medjool Dates pitted
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon ground
- 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon rose petals
- For the dough:
- Put the semolina, flour, 1/4 cup sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir together.
- Cut the butter into cubes and add this to the flour mixture, work with your fingers until the texture is like breadcrumbs.
- Add 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water, 1 tablespoon of rose water and 1 tablespoon of water and use your hands to bring the mixture together into a ball.
- Remove to a clean surface and knead the dough gently until smooth.
- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- While the dough rests make the filling:
- Place the pistachios, dates, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon of orange blossom water and 1 Tablespoon of rose water in a food processor bowl.
- Blitz until you get a coarse paste.
- To mold the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. or the equivalent.
- Get a bowl of water ready so that you can keep your hands damp while you work, to help prevent the dough from cracking.
- Divide the dough into approx 28 pieces of equal size.
- Take a piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten it in the cup of your hand and turning it around as you do so, use your thumb to press it flat and then lift the edges to shape a little 'pot'. The sides need to be about 2.5cm high and 3mm thick.
- Fill the pastry pot with a spoonful of the filling.
- Pinch the dough over the filling so that the pot is sealed and then gently roll it into a ball again.
- Flatten the ball between the palms of our hands, and, either place directly onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper or place into a ma'amul mould and press down lightly to indent the pattern before tapping them onto the baking tray.
- Repeat until you have used all the dough/filling.
- If you haven't used a mold, You can use a fork and press down gently on the top of each cookie to make like patterns with the tines.
- 1Bake for 15-20 minutes. The cookies need to be cooked through but they should not begin to turn color, so watch them closely.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before sprinkling with powdered sugar and rose petals before serving.