Ma’amool cookies are usually made in the Middle East for Christmas, Easter or Eid. Making ma’amoul is a family or friends affair. You always make enough to supply each child, each friend and most neighbors with at least one week supply.
My mom used to get together with her friends on a certain day before the Eid to make ma’amool. One friend would bring the dough, another would bring one kind of stuffing and someone else would bring another kind of stuffing, the rest would bring stories and gossip. Finally, everybody would bring their own mold or design for the cookies. The ladies would place the dough and the different stuffing in the center of the table and the making of the ma’amool would begin. The ladies would spend the whole afternoon making the cookies and usually dad is in charge of dinner. I can still remember hearing them, talking, laughing and baking.
makes 50 pieces
4 cups farina
1 cups cake flour
1/2 cup sugar for the dough and 1 tablespoon for the yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups un-salted butter room temperature
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
For walnut stuffing:
4 cups walnuts
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
For date stuffing:
4 cups chopped date
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1 cup powdered sugar for dusting the cookies
-To make the dough: Mix the farina, the flour, the sugar and the salt. Add the butter and mix well.
-Dissolve the tablespoon of sugar in the warm milk. Add the yeast, stir and allow it to rest. Add the yeast to the flour mixture and mix well until the dough is smooth. You can add couple tablespoons of cold water. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 1 hour.
-To make the walnut stuffing: Grind the walnuts and then mix with the sugar and orange blossom water.
-To make the ma’amool: Cut pieces of dough and make a dent in the middle to form a cup. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of any filling into the cup, and then gently close the opening wit the thumb and other fingers. Decorate the top of the ma’amool by pinching the dough with pastry tweezers or place in a Ma’amool cookies mold. Place your palm under the mold and gently strike the mold on the edge of a table to make the cookie fall in your palm.
-Place the ma’amool on cookie sheet and bake in 350 F degree oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until light brown on the bottom and light color on the top. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 1 hour.
-Dust the ma’amool with the powdered sugar and store in tightly closed container. The ma’amool can keep for couple months.