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Date Maamouls: Discovery of Middle Eastern Flavors

Maamouls are delicately flavored biscuits, rich in history and tradition, which have their origins in the Middle East. These refined pastries are renowned for their unique shortcrust pastry, flavored with orange blossom water or rose water, and their hearts generously stuffed with dates, pistachios, or walnuts. Their preparation and tasting are passed down from generation to generation, making them much more than a simple dish: a true cultural heritage.

Maamouls know no borders. They come in various variations around the world, adapted according to local tastes and available ingredients, but always faithful to the spirit of sharing and conviviality that characterizes them. From Lebanon to Syria, via Jordan and Palestine, each region claims its own recipe, testifying to the culinary richness of the Middle East.

These cookies are traditionally served on important occasions and religious holidays, such as Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and Easter. They are the symbol of hospitality and are often offered to guests, accompanied by tea or coffee, as a token of welcome and friendship. Their preparation is sometimes even considered as a family ritual, where each member participates in assembling and decorating the cookies, thus strengthening bonds and sharing a moment of joy and conviviality.

The recipe that I offer you today is an invitation to discover this rich and tasty culinary tradition, adapted to be accessible to everyone, even to those who do not have much experience in baking. Whether you opt for a date and pistachios stuffing or give free rein to your imagination with other nuts or dried fruits, these maamouls will delight your taste buds and transport you, for just one bite, to the sunny regions of Middle East.

🔍 Information Details
⏱️ Preparation time 45 minutes (including resting the dough)
🍳 Cooking time 10 to 15 minutes
⏲️ Total time About 1 hour
🔧 Difficulty level AVERAGE
🍽️ Servings Makes about 20 cookies
🔥 Calories (approximate) 150 calories per cookie


For the dough:

  • 1 cup of fine semolina
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 C. teaspoon baking powder
  • About 3 tbsp. tablespoons of orange blossom water or rose water (adjust according to the consistency of the paste)

For the stuffing:

  • 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup ground pistachios (or other dried nuts/fruits of your choice)
  • 1 C. teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)



Q: How long can maamouls be kept?
A: Maamouls will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature. To prolong their freshness, you can store them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to a month.

Q: Can we use gluten-free flour to make maamouls?
A: Yes, it is entirely possible to replace traditional flour with gluten-free flour to prepare maamouls. Just be sure to choose a baking-friendly mix to achieve a satisfying texture.

Q: Are maamouls suitable for vegans?
A: The traditional recipe for maamouls includes butter, but it is possible to replace it with coconut oil or another vegetable substitute to create a vegan version of maamouls.

Q: Can we prepare the maamoul dough in advance?
A: Yes, you can prepare the maamoul dough up to 48 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Be sure to let it come to room temperature before using to make shaping easier.

Q: What are the alternatives to orange blossom water and rose water?
A: If you can't find orange blossom water or rose water, you can substitute them with lemon or orange zest to flavor the dough, although the taste will be slightly different.

Q: How do I know when maamouls are cooked?
A: The maamouls are cooked when they have a light golden color. They will continue to harden as they cool, so it's important not to overcook them to prevent them from becoming too tough.

Q: Can we freeze maamouls?
A: Yes, maamouls freeze very well. Place them in an airtight container, separating the cookie layers with parchment paper. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.

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