From my Plated Heirlooms


“Perhaps one of the most widely spread dessert in the whole of the Middle East, Falasteen too, celebrates these stuffed Semolina cookies with great appreciation. Maamool is the one dessert that is served in all religious celebrations, traditional weddings and traditional birth celebrations since ancient times as well as being a permanent resident on the menu of street foods too. It seems we all love Mamool.

I personally love having them with coffee and very often end up having a tad more than I should!

The most popular varieties are those filled with dates, but the pistachio ones are a more sophisticated version. There is also the walnuts; well who does not like walnuts in any dessert! All options are included here for you so you can make a variety as you please.”

– Plated Heirlooms, Chapter 8, p.463


One of Arabic cuisine’s best creations. It comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavours. These cookies are most commonly served on occasions like Eid, Easter and Christmas. But nowadays you can find Maamool all year long in speciality Middle Eastern and sweet shops. Traditionally, made of semolina & Samneh (local clarified butter) mixed together to create a dough that is then filled with a variety of fillings (most common: Dates as below, Pistachios or Walnut filling). The fillings are what give Maamool its overall flavour. Go for the best quality ingredients when making Maamool as that makes a huge difference to the flavour.

Since Eid is approaching, and making Maamool requires some time and preparation, I am posting the recipes here for you, so you can give it a go and try making your own Maamool this year.

As with everything, practice makes perfect, and making Mamool might require a little bit of practice. Do give yourself some time to practice and make perfect 🙂


  • 3 Kg Semolina
  • 1 cup shortening (or samneh: clarified butter)
  • 500g butter, melted
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tbsp Ground Mastic
  • 1 tbsp Mahlab
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp of ground Anise

Dates Filling

Date Maamoul is usually made using a round mould.

  • 2 1/2 Kg Grade A Dates or what is known as Royal Dates
  • 1 tbsp DS Date Maamoul Spice Mix
  • 2 tbsp of orange blossom water
  • A dash of DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Toasted Sesame seeds (optional)

* Mahlab, Mahleb, or Mahlepi, is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of the St Lucie Cherry (Prunus mahaleb). The cherry stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel, which is about 5 mm diameter, soft and chewy on extraction, but ground to a powder before use.

In a large container, place all dry ingredients and mix well. Add fats and rub dry ingredients with the added fats like you would in preparing bread dough. Repeat rubbing, until all are well incorporated.

Leave to set from 12 – 24 hours (the longer it sits, the better).

After 24 hours, divide the mixture into 3 parts. Work on it a part at a time.

For each part add: 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp yeast, 1/2 tsp baking powder. Sprinkle with water (sprinkle and don’t pour). Only sprinkle enough water to turn all into a dough (about 1 small cup only), the more water you add, the tougher the Mamool will turn out after baking. Leave to rest for 1 hour. Then start working on moulding it.

Once the first part is all finished, prepare the second part and so on.

Mamool is made using molds.

You will place a small amount of dough and spread it around bottom and sides of mould, leaving space in the centre for the filling. once you place the filling in the centre, you then top with a thin layer of dough to cover. Press to seal then flip the mould over to release moulded Maamool.

Another way of making it, is by placing a small ball of dough in your palm and using your index finger push the side facing you inwards to form a cavity, then place filling in that cavity. Enclose the filling by gently pulling the sides of dough over to cover the opening over the filling.

Traditionally wooden molds are used in making Maamool, also crimpers were used for decorating tops of it. Nowadays, there are plastic moulds of all sizes and shapes that help you create a variety of designs. Once Maamool is moulded, place on lined baking tray, and bake in 375 F oven till tops are golden.

To make the dates filling

Stone and soak dates in blossom water for 30 minutes. Rub all ingredients together until well incorporated.

Place Semolina dough in the mould and fill centre with date filling, cover tops with dough, press to seal and flip to release.

For a variation in shape you can roll date filling into sausages and then roll in the semolina dough.

Cut and shape into wheels, then crimp top using crimpers.

Bake in preheated oven till tops are golden, let cool for 5 minutes on tray, then move to cooling surface using a wide spatula underneath so they don’t break.


This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.

All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.

You can order “Plated Heirlooms” here and we will ship it to you anywhere in the world.

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