Sunday, September 12, 2010

HOLIDAY COOKIES- Maamoul form Middle East

Ohhhh, holidays! There is nothing more exciting than anticipation of holidays. You can almost feel the sparks in the air while children are impatiently jumping around, asking the same question for the zillion of times, and adults, too, somehow are more relaxed, smiling all the time. As if the blessings from above calm even the most restless soul on the Earth.

Every region has that staple holiday cookie that makes family gatherings so more special and maybe stimulates the invisible competition between the family cooks.

Maamoul is a must have holiday cookie during Eid celebrations in the Middle East.

This transports me way back to the time when I made my first batch of maamoul. It was a DISASTER!!!!!! Somehow I miss wrote the ingredients; or maybe, just maybe, that special someone that gave me the recipe "accidentally" left out one simple but important ingredient: H2O. So my first maamouls were a greasy mess filled with deliciously spiced dates. In the years to come I tried new recipes, retried the old ones, and in the end perfected my own that gives my family heavenly goodness each time I pull out a tray of baked maamouls from the oven.

Holiday Cookies- Mammoul From Middle East on FoodistaHoliday Cookies- Mammoul From Middle East

MAAMOUL (35 cookies)

All the ingredients for maamoul can be find in the international section of your local grocery store or in any international grocery store that carries Middle Eastern foods.

Ingredients for dough:                                           
2 cups semolina flour (fine wheat meal)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of melted vegetable shortening
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 cup war, water
1 tsp yeast
3 tbsp powdered milk
1 tsp rose water
1/2 tsp grounded nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin spice

Mix together semolina flour, all-purpose flour, powdered milk, and spices. Pour vegetable shortening and olive oil over the mixed dry ingredients and stir well to combine. make sure that all the dry  ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Let sit for about half an hour, so that semolina flour has the time to absorb the fat.

Dissolve yeast in a 3 tbsp of water and make the dough using all remaining water.

Ingredients for filling:
3 packs of 8 oz. baking dates
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients together into a smooth mass.


 1. Preheat oven to 425*F.

2. The proportion between dough and filling has to be 2:1, so you can easily wrap the dough around the filling.

3. Press the dough ball on your palm into a circle, squish the filling between your fingers, and place it onto the dough.

4. Wrap the dough around the filling, forming a ball in a size of a walnut.

 5. Press the maamoul into the mold and lay the cookie on the tray.

6. Lower the temperature to 350*F and bake thee cookies for 20 minutes. turn the oven down and turn on the broiler and let cookies in the oven for additional 3 minutes until golden browned.

7. When cookies are completely cooled down, powder them with confectioners sugar.


It doesn't take much to trigger the holiday ambiance at home. Just smelling the essence of that special holiday cookie, pie baking in the oven, or that special staple holiday dish cooking on the stove top can magically create holiday's spirit, recall holiday memories, and put a calm smile on our faces any day of the year. It starts with: "Mmmh, what smells so good?" Continues with all family hanging out in the kitchen, impatiently anticipating for the cookies to be out of the oven. But the hardest part is waiting for them to cool down. And bringing the family together is always making me incredibly content.

Every family has that "family secret" holiday recipe that is passed down from generation to generation, from mothers to daughters... I can hardly wait when time comes and I will proudly pass my maamoul recipe to my wonderful daughter Sara. Luv ya girly ^_^


  1. wow wow woo! This is so beautiful! I need some kind of molds..looks really awesome!

  2. I love anything with dates...these must be amazing!

  3. What a pretty cookie and that mold is gorgeous! Sounds like a tender cookie.

  4. What beautiful cookies! Wish we could have these not just for the holidays! Gorgeous.

  5. Thank you all, they are the best there is as far as cookies go!
    Jill: I made them often all year long :)

  6. your cookies are so neat. love the date filling. thanks for sharing

  7. Fantastic looking cookies. I like the cookie molds idea.

  8. Oh, these are absolutely gorgeous!!! And I love dates...especially in cookies :)

  9. I'm glad everyone like my cookies :)

  10. where can we buy maamoul mold same as yours?

  11. So I am searching all over the Internet for healthy maamoul, with oil instead of butter and no salt. And where do I end up but at the blog of my Slovenian foodie friend. I should have known :-)

    These look great, Mateja!

  12. Hi there, so glad to have come across this post. Question: where did you find your maamoul mold? I've only seen them when I went to Egypt, and haven't been able to find them anywhere since then. Would you mind sharing where you can buy these? Thanks!