Sephardic Recipes With A Modern Twist

Sephardic Spice Girls

Making Ma’amul: A Middle Eastern Dessert


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Esther’s Ma’amul Recipe

Dough
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine or coconut oil

Nut Filling

1 pound walnuts, ground
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine or coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water

Date Filling

1 pound pitted dates
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Combine flour and semolina in a large bowl until it has a crumb consistency.

  3. Add rose water, fold in the butter and add 1/2 teaspoon lukewarm water.

  4. Knead the dough well and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  5. Prepare the fillings by combining the ingredients.

  6. Divide the dough into four portions.

  7. Work with one portion at a time, while covering the rest as you work.

  8. Pinch walnut size balls of dough, then press down on the center with your finger, to form a ½ inch indentation.

  9. Fill the indentation with ¼ tsp of the filling, then close the pastry.

  10. If using a ma’amoul mold, press the top of the pastry firmly against the mold, then lightly tap the mold on a hard surface to remove the pastry.

  11. Place the pastry on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

  12. Bake 10-12 minutes or until the bottom of the pastries are lightly browned and tops remain pale.

  13. Sprinkle the cookies with confectioners’ sugar before serving.