Making Ma'amoul (aka Kerebiç)
These buttery cookies are present in many Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Usually made at the end of Lent or Ramadan, the ma'amoul cookie is stuffed with dates and nuts, then pressed into wooden molds for a decorative design. While my cookies did not come out with the most distinct decorative design, I can assure you that the taste of buttery dough and sweet filling delivered a mouthful of contrasting yet harmonious flavor. You can buy these molds on Etsy, Amazon or take a trip to Turkey and pick it up here!
For the dough:
110 g butter, softened
200 g all-purpose flour
50 g granulated sugar
2 tbsp orange blossom water (or regular water)
pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
For the filling:
150 g dates, pitted
50 g unsalted almonds
50 g pistachios(or your favorite nuts)
2 tbsp honey
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Make the dough: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the butter, and sugar until creamy. Add half of the all-purpose flour, stir until well combined. Add the remaining flour and pinch ground nutmeg. Knead until a smooth ball of dough begins to form. Place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes, then roll into 15 balls.
3. Make the filling: Blend dates in a food processor. Add the nuts and honey, blend until well combined. Roll the mixture into 15 balls.
4. Grab your dough and push 2-inch circles into it, then place 1 ball of the mixture in the center. Fold and press dough together to seal the filling. Repeat with the remaining dough and date mixture.
5. Take a piece of saran wrap and line the ma'amoul mold, press dough into the center, pull the saran wrap to release the dough from the mold. Place on a lined baking sheet.
6. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.