Maamoul Easter Cookies
Shortbread cookies that melt in your mouth. What better way to embrace the Easter holiday. Throughout the Middle East, these cookies traditionally are baked for the end of a holiday. In the Christian communities, it's during Easter and the Muslim communities at the end of Ramadan.
These cookies are filled with different nuts or dates, with a hint of orange blossom water and doused in confectioner’s sugar. As I am writing this, my mouth is watering just thinking about them.
My favorite of these cookies are the ones that are filled with dates and cinnamon. You will find an array of them filled with pistachios, walnuts, cashews, and even pine nuts. It is a cookie that is made in a couple of steps, so please plan accordingly.
I usually use the same recipe and just change the filling.
5½ cups Semolina (Cream of Wheat)
½ cup all purpose flour
2 cups butter melted
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Mix together in a large bowl. Cover with a damp towel and leave overnight.
In the morning, add ½ cup orange blossom water and ½ cup rose water and mix well. Let it rest for 2 hours.
3 cups of finely chopped nuts (walnuts, pistachios, or cashews)
1 cup of sugar
¼ cup each of orange blossom water and rose water
Mix well and set aside.
8 ounces of pressed dates
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
Sprinkle the cinnamon on the pressed dates. Using your fingers, cut off quarter size pieces of the dates and roll in your hand to make a small ball. Repeat until all the dates are rolled and set aside.
When the dough is ready, take pieces of dough (golf ball size) and with the dough in one hand, using your index finger, open a hole in the dough and insert the filling of choice and close the dough. Using a Maamoul mold, press the golf size ball into the mold and turn out on a floured surface. Arrange the cookies in a parchment prepared baking sheet and bake in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven until golden. About 25 minutes.
Let it cool. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve.
Photography by Kendra Jekel Photography