Mamool Middle Eastern Easter Cookies

Every year my Lebanese friends and I get together and make these cookies.  They are an Easter tradition back home.  Making these cookies is a lot of fun but  is time-consuming.  The taste is absolutely divine and between the butter and Ghee they melt in your mouth! It is hard to stop eating them and I have to give them away immediately so I don’t consume them all. It is really hard to have any form of willpower when you’re smelling these warm cookies straight from the oven.

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Mamool Middle Eastern Cookies

  • Servings: 36
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print

1 lb of fine Semolina flour
1 lb of Semolina Coarse flour called Farina
1/2 tsp of Mahlab
1/2 C of sugar
1 tsp of yeast 2 sticks of butter, melted (on low heat)
1 full cup of Ghee, melted (on low heat)
1/4 cup of warm water, add one or two table spoons If needed
1/4 cup of orange blossom water
1 1/2 to 2 cups of date paste
A special mold for Maamool making (optional)
Parchment paper
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
To Make the Cookie Dough
Mix the two Semolina flours together, add the Mahlab spice, and sugar. Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Read the package directions for instructions. Melt both the butter and Ghee just enough to become liquid. Add the the melted butter and Ghee to the flour mixture and mix well. Add the water, mix well then keep the dough covered on the counter overnight.
The next day add the orange blossom water and let it rest for one hour.
To Make the Filling
The date paste could be purchased from a Mediterranean food store, or you can purchase the dates and puree them in a food processor with enough butter to make them like the consistency of jam. (Approximately 3 C of dates + 3 table spoons of butter). Of course add a little more butter if needed so the mixture is emollient enough to form a paste.
To Make The Cookies
Form small balls, smaller then a golf size ball. You should have three dozen cookies. Now hold the ball in your hand hallow it by using your finger and turn it clock wise many times. Stuff it with the date paste approximately 3/4 of a tsp, then seal it.
You should have a mold for Maamool making. If the mold is not available just form the balls, close them, and flatten them with your hands to form a flat cookie. If you have a
mold press the sealed ball in the mold enough to imprint the design, then tap the mold on the table to release the cookie. I like to line my mold with plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t stick.
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the cookies about two inches apart.
. Bake for 17 minutes or until you see a golden color on the bottom of the cookie.
Let cookies cool, then dust with powdered sugar.
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I love the cookie dough!  It is just as hard to not devour even before you get the cookies made and stuffed with your favorite filling. There are a variety of things you can use for the filling like pistachio nuts, walnuts, or date paste.
For the cookie dough I used Semolina flour and Farina flour.  Farina flour is another version of Semolina however it is coarser.  The spice I used is Mahlab. It is an aromatic spice made of the seed of a cherry species. Please be careful when using Mahlab, since too much can make the cookies taste bitter.
photo 4
You can find most of the trickier ingredients in a specialty Mediterranean store. My favorite supplier is Penzey’s Spice Shop.

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