I often reminisce about the pastries from my childhood. I have fond memories of my mother and grandmother baking every weekend and sharing something sweet with the family.
This Ramadan I wanted to try and make maamoul. I set out to replicate the maamoul from my childhood and found that our family recipe was for a HUGE batch… like 8 dozen cookies! Cutting the recipe in half would still give me far more than I would need (especially for my first time!). I decided to test a few variations of the family recipes and come up with a batch that would make about two dozen cookies!
First, I need a maamoul mold. I got mine here.
I did some more research on maamoul and found there was significant differences in recipes ranging from yeast based doughs to those leavened with baking powder. I also found some recipe using all purpose flour, some with a portion AP flour and the other a variation of semolina with differing coarseness.
After testing the recipe with farina, I decided fine semolina brought a more smooth texture.
To help provide a visual here is a video of my process:
**After viewing my Snapchat (@AmandasPlate) my mom informed me that when she makes Maamoul, she uses one piece of the dough and wraps it around the date filling!
Maamoul Date Cookies
- 3 cups Fine Semolina (milled wheat flour/ can be found at middle eastern stores)
- 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup ghee, clarified butter
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 3 cups pitted, softened dates or 8 oz date paste
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- powdered sugar for dusting the tops after baking optional
- 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 1 hour.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.