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Date-Stuffed Semolina Cookies (Ma'amoul)

36 cookies

1 hour 30 minutes active, plus cooling

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A combination of semolina and all-purpose flours gave the shortbread crust a rich, crumbly texture and complex flavor. Chilled butter prevented the dough from getting overly sticky, but if your kitchen is particularly warm and the dough is soft and shiny after mixing, refrigerate it for 30 minutes before proceeding. Covering the dough with plastic while making the filling and rolling it out between sheets of kitchen parchment further prevent the dough from drying out. If the dough begins to crack while shaping the cookies, gently pinch the cracks back together. You can substitute pistachios for the walnuts, but the filling will take an extra minute or so to come together into a paste. While rose water is traditional, we found a good substitution: 2 teaspoons each of orange juice and orange zest, plus 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. These cookies keep for up to three days in an airtight container at room temperature.




Don’t use deglet dates. Soft, plump medjool dates were essential to producing the proper consistency of the paste, and they made for a moister, more flavorful filling.

1 hour

30 minutes active, plus cooling

For the dough:

  • 172

    grams (1 cup) semolina flour


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Manal S.

I made and LOVED this. The only change was I didn’t have yogurt and substituted 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and about a tablespoon of butter. The pastry is so melt in your mouth good, the filling is delectable. Heads up that processing the walnuts hot (as I did) leads to a good amount of oil separating from the filling. My hands were coated thickly in oil after rolling the ropes and there was maybe a tablespoon in the processor bowl. Not sure if it was because of the heat or would have happened anyway. Either way, tasty and I will make again. (I’m Arab and have had lots of ma’moul for what it’s worth - these are the best home made recipe I’ve had.)

Becky W.

These are delicious and not difficult to make! Next time I do this, I might double the filling. It's so yummy! I love making homemade Lara Bars (raw, date-based snacks bars) and this recipe takes dates to the next level!