Ma'amoul means filled in Arabic. These are very popular in Lebanon but can be found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. They are traditionally shaped as crescents or as pressed cookies and have several variations for the fillings. This one has a walnut filling, but you can use almonds or pistachios too.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
12 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 27 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 dozen
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place the semolina flour into a medium bowl, and cut in shortening using a pastry blender or a fork. Pour in boiling water, and mix to form a solid dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for a minute or two to be sure the dough is well blended. Cover dough and let stand for at least one hour, or as long as overnight.

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  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, ground nuts, and rose water so that the mixture is uniform. Set aside.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. Knead dough again briefly, and form into walnut sized balls. Make a hole in the center using your finger. Fill the hole with the nut mixture, and seal the dough up over it. Gently form into balls or crescents, or make designs into the dough using a fork. Place cookies at least 1 inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Dust with confectioners sugar while still warm if desired.

Notes

Almonds or unsalted pistachios may be used for filling also. If rose water is not available in your area, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon for flavoring.

There are many variations for shaping these cookies including rectangles rolled into mini jelly rolls, or shape 3 inch rounds from balls, place filling in the center, and fold the sides over to cover, and seal.

Nutrition Facts

372 calories; protein 2g 4% DV; carbohydrates 16.8g 5% DV; fat 34.3g 53% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 0.9mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (6)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
09/02/2003
This was like my Mom used to make. I didn't have rose water but used orange water and they were delicious & very special. Thank you for posting the recipe! Read More
(17)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
12/30/2003
This recipe is really bad. I followed the instructions exactly and ended up with cookies that wouldn't cook all the way through without burning (too much shortening in the recipe) and WAY too much of the sugar/nut/rose water mixture. I could have cut that part in half and still had too much. There wasn't enough rose water included to even taste it in the finished cookie. I recommend finding another recipe with better measurements. Read More
(16)
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
09/02/2003
This was like my Mom used to make. I didn't have rose water but used orange water and they were delicious & very special. Thank you for posting the recipe! Read More
(17)
Rating: 1 stars
12/30/2003
This recipe is really bad. I followed the instructions exactly and ended up with cookies that wouldn't cook all the way through without burning (too much shortening in the recipe) and WAY too much of the sugar/nut/rose water mixture. I could have cut that part in half and still had too much. There wasn't enough rose water included to even taste it in the finished cookie. I recommend finding another recipe with better measurements. Read More
(16)
Rating: 5 stars
12/13/2006
Came out perfect. Yes I ended up with too much of the nut mixture but I just froze it for the next batch. Just like Great Grandma from Lebanon used to make. Took them to a Lebanese family dinner they were a huge hit. No one had made these since Great Grandma and everyone said it was an exact match. Read More
(16)
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Rating: 3 stars
01/06/2008
I didn't like the dough in this version. It lacked flavor and the texture could have been better (even with the semolina). I've searched the internet and there are some others that I think the dough would accomplish that. At the point where it says to add the hot water I would do so gradually. I added the whole cup and the dough was too soft. It also says to let the dough sit. It probably should say to put it in the frig to stiffen it. Could be a great recipe with those kind of changes. Read More
(8)
Rating: 4 stars
12/23/2007
I left out the rose water and spices as my grandmother never used those in hers. They turned out very good. A little more delicate than I remember but with a very nice taste. I made w/ traditional date a well as walnut fillings. Thanks for the recipe. The one I have from my grandmother has no measurements on it. Read More
(5)
Rating: 1 stars
12/01/2012
could not even eat these the recipe is so off. against my better judgement I followed the recipe proportion of semolina to shortening and it was just way too much shortening. They baked so greasy and fell apart at the slightest touch. I let them cool completely before I removed them from the sheet lined w/parchment. Gross taste; just so greasy. Is there supposed to be all-purpose too? There are different grinds of semolina. I used the finer grind that I use for Basboosa and ghroobah but this was unedible. Let it sit for an hour or more. also halved the amt. of nut mixture and still had plenty left over. Read More
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