Mamool means filled in the Arabic language. In today’s recipe, we will show you how to make these delicious and healthy date-filled cookies called Mamool. Mamool is popular in North Africa and many middle eastern countries like Lebanon. They are served like crescents as pressed stuffed cookies with different fillings. This one has pistachio/walnut filling.
Maamoul is usually made by hand or using special wooden molds to create different shapes – round like a ball, crescent form, shaped like a dome, or flattened as a disc. The ingredients and preparation may be elementary, but shaping Maamoul cookies is an art. These pastries can take many shapes as they differ by the impressions left by the molds. Patience and thoroughness are two qualities you need to master this tasty treat.
They are traditional at religious holidays, such as Eid, Christmas, and other holidays. The Pistachio Maamoul Cookies are another version of Maamoul date cookies served in the Middle East. They are delicious and served majorly at Eid El-Fitr at the end of Ramadan. Pistachio Maamouls are a little different from Date Maamouls. They are filled with ground Pistachio and powdered with confectioner’s sugar after baking. They will melt in your mouth and you can side them with either hot or cold drinks like tea or coffee.
Start by making the filling for these amazing date-filled cookies. For the filling, combine the pitted date, 50 grams of butter, 1 teaspoon of mahlab, and mamool spices in a bowl until you have a silky and soft paste.
For the nut filling of the Mamool, mix the crushed nuts with sugar and rosewater until it forms a cohesive dough. Cover and set it aside.
In a bowl, place the semolina and flour with a pinch of salt. Then add the warm water and 250 grams of butter and mix by running your fingers through the semolina and make sure the butter is thoroughly mixed. Do not knead the mixture. Cover and set it aside for half an hour. This will allow the butter to be absorbed by the flour.
Later, add the mastic, 2 teaspoons of mahlab, Full-Fat Milk, and sugar to the semolina mixture and thoroughly combine them.
Dissolve the instant yeast in the warm water along with half a teaspoon of sugar. Leave the mixture for 5 minutes until it looks bubbly.
Gently add the active yeast to the semolina mixture. Mix it with your fingers, and do not knead it. You want a cohesive dough. Add the water gradually until it is enough.
The semolina mixture may not need the whole water amount. Cover the dough and leave it for three hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
Now it is time to form the mamool. Cut out a portion of the dough that is smaller than the mamool mold. Spread it out in a thin layer in the palm of your hand and place a small portion of the filling in the center of the mamool dough. Wrap the dough around the filling and place it in the mamool mold; press the ball gently into the mold so that the dough fills it.
Turn the mold upside down and gently tap it so that the dough loosens and drops into the palm of your hand. Repeat the same with the remaining ingredients. Arrange the date-filled cookies onto a baking sheet and cover them to avoid drying. There should be a space between the mamool cookies to prevent them from sticking to each other.
Bake the mamool cookies in the preheated oven and keep a close watch. Once the dough begins to turn reddish, your amazing date-filled cookies are ready. It takes about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar and serve these sweet pieces with a cup of hot coffee.
If you have extra date filling, wrap it well and freeze for up to 6 months. When you are ready to use it, let it stay in the fridge overnight. Knead a little bit, and add vegetable oil into it until smooth.
It is quite possible to make Maamoul without mold. Just form the dough, stuff it, and roll it using the palm. You can then decorate with a fork.
Maamoul can be made with butter, coconut oil, or plant-based butter to make them vegan.
If the dates are not very soft, place the chopped dates and add some water in a saucepan (start with two tablespoons of water and add as needed). Heat the dates at medium-high, and when the water bubbles, lower the heat and simmer.
If the dough is too soft to work with, place it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Store Maamoul in an airtight container and keep it on your counter for 2 to 4 days.