Fine Semolina Flour – 3 cups
Ghee – 1 cup
Whole Milk – 1 cup
Sugar – 2 tablespoons
Dry Yeast – 1 ½ teaspoon
Mahleb Powder – 2 teaspoons
Anise Powder – 1 teaspoon
Date Paste – 375 grams (13 ounces)
White Sesame Seeds – to sprinkle on top
Maamoul (معمول) – Maamoul is an ancient Arab pastry that is very popular in the Middle East. In Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan, Maamoul are formed into different shapes and filled with walnuts, pistachios or date paste. Maamoul are crumbly cookies that are offered as gifts during the holiday season and often served with Arabic Coffee or tea. A visit to a traditional bazaar in Kuwait City introduces us to the delectable Maamoul with Dates. Our Maamoul recipe uses few special ingredients used to make Arabic desserts. Semolina Flour is made from Durum wheat, has pale yellow color and is rich in protein. Mahleb is a specialty spice derived from the seed of the Mahaleb Cherry and has a distinct bitter flavor. Ghee, clarified butter used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, is made by a simmering process and by removing the milk solids. We choose the aromatic, unflavored and creamy Ghee Butter made by the “4th and Heart” Company. Our chosen Date Paste, produced by Ziyad Brand, is all natural and made with only pitted dates. We form half-moon cookies, layer date paste between two cookies and sprinkle them with white sesame seeds. Our Maamoul with Dates have a crumbly texture, smooth date filling and marvelous buttery aroma.
Step 1 – In the bowl, mix flour, sugar, anise and mahleb. Add the Ghee butter to the flour mixture and use your hands to incorporate the ingredients until obtaining smooth texture.
Step 2 – Mix the milk with the yeast and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the yeast mixture to the bowl, mix to make the dough and set aside for one hour.
Step 3 – Form half-moon shaped cookies using cookie forms or the rim of a glass. Layer date paste between two cookies and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.
Step 4 – Bake in the oven at 380 Fahrenheit for 20 minutes until lightly golden.
Step 5 – Serve Maamoul with Arabic coffee or tea!