I often reminisce about the pastries from my childhood. I have fond memories of my mother and grandmother baking every weekend and sharing something sweet with the family.
This Ramadan I wanted to try and make maamoul. I set out to replicate the maamoul from my childhood and found that our family recipe was for a HUGE batch… like 8 dozen cookies! Cutting the recipe in half would still give me far more than I would need (especially for my first time!). I decided to test a few variations of the family recipes and come up with a batch that would make about two dozen cookies!
First, I need a maamoul mold. I got mine here.
I did some more research on maamoul and found there was significant differences in recipes ranging from yeast based doughs to those leavened with baking powder. I also found some recipe using all purpose flour, some with a portion AP flour and the other a variation of semolina with differing coarseness.
I like a little crunch in my maamoul and used farina which is a more course semolina flour.
To help provide a visual here is a video of my process:
**After viewing my Snapchat (@AmandasPlate) my mom informed me that when she makes Maamoul, she uses one piece of the dough and wraps it around the date filling!
- 3 cups farina (milled wheat flour/ can be found at middle eastern stores)
- ½ cup All Purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ghee, clarified butter (regular butter works too)
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 3 cups dates, pitted
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (other vegetable oils work)
- Blend dates together in a food processor with spices and 1 tablespoon oil until smooth. Add orange blossom water. Roll 1 tablespoon dates into 24 small balls.
- In a small bowl, mix yeast in water and allow to stand for 3 minutes.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together farina, AP flour, salt, sugar and butter.
- Add the yeast and water and milk to the bowl and mix until dough forms.
- Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Using mold, press dough into the center, place date ball in the center of the dough. Place a second smaller piece of dough over the top of the date, cover the filling.
- Tap the mold until the dough releases.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.