Maamoul cookies are the famous middle eastern shortbread pastries filled with dates or nuts. They are traditional at religious holidays in the Levantine region. And are made by hand or using special wooden molds to create different shapes – round like a ball, crescent form, shaped as a dome or flattened as a disc.
- 3 cups farina (milled wheat flour/ can be found at middle eastern stores)
- ½ cup All Purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ghee, clarified butter (regular butter works too)
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 3 cups dates, pitted
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (other vegetable oils work)
- Blend dates together in a food processor with spices and 1 tablespoon oil until smooth. Add orange blossom water. Roll 1 tablespoon dates into 24 small balls.
- In a small bowl, mix yeast in water and allow to stand for 3 minutes.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together farina, AP flour, salt, sugar and butter.
- Add the yeast and water and milk to the bowl and mix until dough forms.
- Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Using mold, press dough into the center, place date ball in the center of the dough. Place a second smaller piece of dough over the top of the date, cover the filling.
- Tap the mold until the dough releases.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Sometimes all you need is little sweetness in your life….
This is what I made last weekend, as it was raining with intervals and I was craving for something sweet.
- 1 cup (8 oz/226g) butter
- 1¼ cups (7 1/2oz/212g) light brown sugar
- ¾ cup (6oz/170g) white granulated/caster sugar
- 2½ cups (12 1/2oz/354g) all-purpose flour/plain flour
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs*
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract , optional
- 2 cups (12oz/340g) bittersweet chocolate chunks
Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl melt the butter. Add in both white and brown sugars and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute.
Whisk in one egg to the sugar-butter mixture, stirring until it’s fully mixed in. Scrape the sides of the bowl with your spatula.
Whisk in the second egg and the vanilla and scrape the sides of bowl again.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with the spatula to fully combine. Make sure you’ve scraped the bottom of the bowl and there are no streaks of dry ingredients left. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be soft but DON’T add more flour. It needs to be chilled now to firm up.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Chill the dough for a minimum of 1 hour. This will make it easier to scoop and you cookies will keep their shape better while baking. (This dough can be made and kept in the fridge for 7 days. The dough also freezes really well)
Scoop 14 balls of cookie dough (1/4 cup/100g each) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave some space between the cookies as they spread out during baking.
Bake the cookies at 375°F (190°C) for 12 minutes, or until the edges are set and the cookie is beginning to turn golden brown throughout, but still dough in the middle. It is really important you don’t over bake these cookies otherwise the won’t be soft in the middle.
Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.