Ma’amoul Cookies

When I think of home and my childhood, the scent of rose and orange blossom water linger in my mind. Those are the most distinct flavors and smells of most Middle Eastern desserts. 

I can remember watching my mom in the kitchen before all holidays and special events making special treats, one in particular, ma’amoul. Ma’amoul cookies are little pockets of goodness filled with walnuts or dates, of course scented with the aromas of orange blossom and rose waters. Delicate pastry is wrapped and baked into a perfect cookie to enjoy with morning coffee or on a cookie platter.

Ma’amoul are definitely a labor of love, each individual cookie shaped and pressed with care, baked to perfection. The wooden molds are truly what make this dessert elegant and special with unique patterns and designs. You’ll find that this cookie doesn’t contain any traditional flour, but instead a mixture of semolina and farina flours. This delicate balance of flours give the cookies a tender but yet crisp bite and something truly unique.

Pressing the dough into the molds

A few taps on your surface to release the cookie out of the mold. 
Walnut filled cookies receive a dusting of powdered sugar after coming out of the oven.

This past week, my own children watched me prepare the ma’amoul dough, prepare the filling and make each special cookie. It was a moment where I realized that the reason I do this, the reason I cook and bake is for them. Ma’amoul was part of my childhood, something that stuck in my mind as a fond memory, food does that to us. I want my own children to have those same memories, the smells and tastes of their childhood to look back on. 

Whatever the reason you decide to bake today, I hope it’s a good one. Whether it’s a rainy day, a time to bond with kids or just to make a special treat for yourself. 

As always, I love seeing your creations! Today, especially, I would love to see your cookie creations! You can follow the hashtag: #virtualcookieparty2018 where I’m joined by many other incredible bloggers sharing their special treats.
xoxo,
Cosette
#cosetteskitchen

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Print Recipe
Ma'amoul Cookies
Delicious cookies filled with a walnut or date filling.
maamoul, cookies, lebanese
Course Dessert
Cuisine Lebanese
Keyword cookies, lebanese
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Pastry Dough
Date Filling
Walnut Filling
Course Dessert
Cuisine Lebanese
Keyword cookies, lebanese
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Pastry Dough
Date Filling
Walnut Filling
maamoul, cookies, lebanese
Instructions
Pastry Dough
  1. In a large bowl, combine the semolina, farina, mahlab and nutmeg together.
  2. In a small pot, melt your butter and add to flour mixture when butter is cooled. Cover.
  3. Let this mixture sit for 2-3 hours. After that time, add in your rose water, mix and cover again. Allow mixture to sit overnight.
  4. After mixture has sat overnight, remove about 1/2 cup of your mixture, set aside.
  5. Next, add in your orange blossom water, warm water and powdered sugar. Mix until a dough forms that sticks together when pressed between fingers. If dough is too dry, add a touch of water.
Date Filling
  1. In a small bowl, add your baking dates and softened butter. Mix to combine. Set aside.
Walnut Filling
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add your walnuts, sugar, orange and rose waters and combine until nuts are fine and mixture forms together.
  2. Remove from food processor bowl to a standard bowl.
  3. Add in your 1/2 cup of reserved pastry dough mixture and mix together. Set aside.
Assembling and Baking
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Begin by taking about a teaspoon sized piece of dough and begin to flatten. Fill the center with either your date or walnut mixture and seal all around to create a ball.
  3. In your wooden mold, place the filled dough ball and press firmly to allow the impression to mark the dough.
  4. Bang the wooden mold to release the formed cookie. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes on upper 1/3 rack of oven.
  5. Cookies will be done when bottoms are slightly red.
  6. After coming out of the oven, dust the WALNUT cookies with powdered sugar (date cookies leave plain)
  7. Let cool and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

** Using a scale to measure ingredients is most accurate for this recipe. ** If the dough gets to too soft to work with, you can refrigerate for a bit to firm up. **If you can't find Mahlab spice, you can substitute additional nutmeg or cardamom, or omit completely.  **Wooden molds can be found here or at any Middle Eastern grocery store.   

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