Maamoul Cookies / Date Filled Semolina cookies

Maamoul cookies or date filled semolina cookies. A famous Arab dessert which is usually made on festival time. Mouth melting, scented and lightly sweetened date stuffed cookies taste divine.

These cookies can be made with different fillings, like dates, pistachios, walnuts, almond or fig. Cookie dough shaped with a wooden mould. And most interesting is it’s shape depends on filling so that people can recognize the filling by it’s shape. Date filled maamoul cookies are flat topped and round shaped, pistachio filled are oval shaped and walnut filled are dome shaped. I don’t have maamoul mould so used my sandesh mould and fork. Place the date filled balls on baking tray and press with any mould or fork to give shape.

But now I have to order a maamoul mould. I will update the pictures when I can get it. You can get some more cookies recipe here.

Ma’amoul (Arabic: معمول‎ [mɑʕmuːl] also spelled m’aamoul, m’amul, m’aamul) is a filled semolina cookie found in Arab regions made with dates, nuts such as pistachios or walnuts and occasionally almonds, or figs. Ma’amoul are usually made a few days before Christmas, Easter, or Eid, then stored to be served with Arabic coffee and chocolate to guests who come during the holiday. It is popular throughout the Arab world, especially in the Arabian peninsula. They may be in the shape of balls, domed or flattened cookies. They can either be decorated by hand or be made in special wooden moulds. Ma’amoul with date fillings are often known as menenas, and are sometimes made in the form of date rolls rather than balls or cookies. Source – Wikipedia

When Kalyani Sri who blog at Sizzlingtastebuds suggested the theme Emirati Eats for this week’s 265 #Foodiemonday bloghop, I immediately decided to share this maamoul cookies recipe. Because it is one of my most favourite cookie. Kalyani has a wonderful blog with many mouthwatering recipes. Her Sweet and salty digestive biscuit and Bangalore bakery style Om biscuits are in my list. I will try these recipes soon. Do visit her space for many healthy and delicious recipes.

As I mentioned above these cookies are lightly sweetened and sprinkled with powdered sugar. But this step is optional. You can enjoy these delicious cookies without sprinkling sugar.

Traditionally these cookies are flavoured with orange blossom water and rose water. But if you don’t have orange blossom water or rose water, you can still make these cookies. I have used rose essence and cardamom powder in the dough and orange essence in date filling. You can use cinnamon powder too. Pistachios, walnuts or fig can be used for filling instead of dates. Traditionally coconut are not used in these cookies but I have used 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut in the filling for taste. You can skip coconut or replace with pistachios or walnuts. I have used homemade melted ghee or clarified butter, you can use butter. If you are using salted butter omit salt.

Recipe

Semolina or suji – 1 & 1/4 cup

All purpose flour or maida – 1/2 cup

Powdered sugar – 1/4 cup

Clarified butter/ghee or butter – 1/2 cup

Salt – a pinch

Milk – 1/4 cup

Rose essence – 1/2 teaspoon

Cardamom powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon

For filling

Dates – 3/4 cup, pitted

Clarified butter/ghee or butter – 1 teaspoon

Orange essence – 1/2 teaspoon

Desiccated coconut – 1 tablespoon, optional

Almond – 1 tablespoon

Method

1. In a large bowl mix semolina or suji, all purpose flour or maida, baking powder, powdered sugar, cardamom powder and salt. Mix with your hand.

2. Now add milk and rose essence. Knead to make a smooth dough. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.

3. Grind the almond. You can dry roast the almonds before grinding.

4. Grind dates into smooth paste. In a bowl mix ground almonds, dates, desiccated coconut, ghee or clarified butter and orange essence. Make small balls and keep aside.

5. Grease or line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven at 180°.

6. Make balls with semolina or suji dough. Balls should be double in size than date balls.

7. Flatten the ball with your palm. Place date ball in the middle. Close the edges and make ball again. Press gently with your palm.

8. Arrange the balls on greased or lined baking sheet. Press with a mould to make design or press with a fork.

9. Bake the cookies for 20 – 25 minutes or till the cookies becomes light golden brown. For crispy cookies bake for a few minutes more or let it cool down in oven.

10. Let the cookies cool down completely. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cookies. Serve or store in airtight container for later use.

Notes

1. Walnut, pistachio or fig can be used for filling.

2. If you have orange blossom water use it instead of orange essence, rose essence and cardamom powder.

3. Butter can be used instead of ghee or clarified butter. If you are using salted butter skip salt.

4. Sprinkling of sugar is optional, you can skip this step.

If you tried my recipe, you can share your food pictures with me in the social network sites by using hashtag, #batterupwithsujata I would love to see your creations.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment.

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