½cupunsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 ½cupcoarse semolina
½cupconfectioner’s sugar for dusting over finished cookies
For date filling
1 ½tsporange flower water plus 1 1/2 teaspoons rosewater or 3 teaspoons either flower water
For nut filling
1 ½cupfinely chopped walnuts or pistachios
2tbsprosewater or orange flower water
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water.
Add the rosewater or orange flower water.
Add the egg and melted, cooled butter or margarine.
Add the semolina and mix.
Add the sugar and salt; mix.
Add the flour, mixing till the dough holds together in a ball.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.
Make date filling:
Place all the date filling ingredients in a food processor and process to a paste. Put the paste in a small bowl and set aside until you’re ready to stuff and bake the ma’amoul.
Make nut filling:
Simply mix everything up well. Put the filling in a small bowl and set aside.
To stuff and bake the ma’amoul:
Preheat the oven to 350° F (190° C).
Prepare a cookie sheet by the method you prefer: line it with parchment, or grease it lightly, or lay a silicon sheet over the surface.
To make round, filled cookies: Use a tablespoon to take dough out – a level tablespoon each time. Flatten each piece onto the palm of your hand, and push it until it’s about a 3-inch circle.
Place 1" teaspoons of the nut filling on top of the dough. Bring up the edges of the dough with your fingertips and press them together to seal the filling. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Or, simply hold some dough in the palm of your hand, poke a hole in the middle, and fill. Roll the ball of dough between your palms – lightly – to seal the filling.
To mold the cookies with the special spoon molds: Oil or butter the mold. Stuff 1/2 tablespoon of dough into the mold, pressing lightly with your fingers to fill all the crevices with dough. Place 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling in the cavity of the dough. Cover the filling with another 1/2 tablespoon of dough, smoothing it level. Knock the spoon mold out onto a clean surface; it will emerge looking like a plump pillow etched with the design inside the mold.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until pale golden. Watch them after 20 minutes and don’t allow them to brown, as they will continue to harden while cooling. Transfer to a wire rack immediately. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Ma'amoul cookies from Unpacked – https://jewishunpacked.com/how-to-make-maamoul-cookies/