After a few phone calls with my mom and grandma, I managed to write a detailed recipe for one of my favorite Lebanese sweets, ma'amoul. They take time to make, but are not very difficult. Wooden ma'amoul molds give them their distinctive decorative shapes.

LauraF
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Ingredients

48
Original recipe yields 48 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Mix semolina flour, all-purpose flour, mahlab, and salt together in a large bowl. Work clarified butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until thoroughly incorporated. Cover bowl and let dough rest at room temperature, 8 hours to overnight.

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  • Pour milk into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until just warm, about 15 seconds. Stir in sugar and yeast until dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  • Pour yeast mixture and orange blossom water over the dough and mix until evenly moistened. Pinch off a piece of dough and roll into a ball; it should hold its shape without cracking. Add more milk or orange blossom water if needed. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  • Sprinkle some flour over the ma'amoul molds and tap out the excess. Pinch off a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll into a ball. Press your thumb into the ball to create space for the filling. Work the edges with your fingers so the sides are even and fairly thin. Drop in a piece of date paste and pinch dough over it to seal.

  • Repeat with remaining dough and date paste, arranging cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven, 1 baking sheet at a time, until edges and bottoms are golden but tops are still mostly pale, about 15 minutes.

  • Sift powdered sugar over the cookies while still slightly warm. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cook's Notes:

You can find the wooden molds (and any of the specialized ingredients) online or in Middle Eastern markets.

A mix of orange blossom water and rosewater is traditional. I didn't use rosewater because I had run out, but I didn't miss it.

See “How to Make Clarified Butter” on Allrecipes.

Nutrition Facts

82 calories; 4.4 g total fat; 11 mg cholesterol; 25 mg sodium. 9.4 g carbohydrates; 1.3 g protein; Full Nutrition