A Traditional Arabic Date Cookies or Biscuits – Kaahk in Egypt, Kulaichay in Iraq and Maa’moul in Lebanon. These date cookies are extremely popular in Middle East and so I am sharing a very easy version of them from my Grandmother’s diary.
Ramadan is upon us Alhamdolillah and we are enjoying every bit of it. As many of you may be aware that it the sacred month of fasting for all the Muslims around the world. The schedules get tighter due to religious activities, specified meal times and this year it is coupled with kids vacations and heat wave in Middle East. Many festivities and traditions include feeding poor people, enriching your souls, giving more charity and practicing self-control.
You might also enjoy other Middle Eastern specialties here.
Where is Maamoul from?
But everybody needs food and that too good one. In this post I am going to share a very nice recipe of Arabic date cookies or biscuits called Ma’amoul which is very popular in Middle East specially towards end of this blessed month on Eid ul Fitr. Residing in this part of the world, I want to take the opportunity to learn its diversified cuisine. Today, we are going to talk about Ma’amoul. It generally originated in Lebanon but it is equally popular in the entire region and particularly in this month.
Likewise, my grandmother who lived in Iraq for quite sometime used to make a different version of this cookie. This recipe is a slight adaption from my grandmother’s recipe and from my Egyptian friend and neighbor (Kaahk in Egypt). Many recipes you will find with semolina, however I didn’t had much success with that. So here is more simplified and quite easy version of this wonderful cookie with added homemade goodness.
What other fillings you can use in Maamoul besides dates?
Its filling varies like walnut, pistachios, figs etc. but I have used plain dates. Traditionally, they are prepared using a mold as pictured below.
Do I need that special mould to make Date Cookies or Biscuits?
You can find a traditional mould in Middle Eastern store in non-Arab countries but it is widely available in Middle East.
However, it is not absolutely necessary and I have shown you in the video on how to make maamoul without one.
For the dough
- 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seed
- 1/2 cup milk
For the filling
- 10-12 pieces dates
- 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 3-4 pieces cardamom
- Cream butter, ghee, and icing sugar in a mixing bowl
- Mix 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt, and sesame seeds
- Add flour to the batter mixture along with milk
- Make soft dough, add 1/4 cup flour if needed
- Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- Mix pitted dates and cinnamon, and cardamom
- Make a paste processing dates mixture in food processor
- Melt butter, then add dates mixture and cook until smooth soft paste is formed.
- Cool a little and make balls of required size
- Scoop out dough pieces of relatively equal size based on the molder
- Place the filling and seal
- Use the molder to shape the cookies
- Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes at 350 F until golden brown
- Dust with icing sugar when completely cooled
- Serve and enjoy!
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