Maamoul (Date Stuffed Semolina Cookies)
Maamoul is a buttery, shortbread-like stuffed cookie made with spiced semolina flour and a sweet date and orange water filling.
Stir the sugar, water and orange water in a small saucepan over medium heat until you get a rolling boil. Boil 1 minute and turn off heat. Set aside to cool 5 minutes.
Pulse the dates in a food processor (or chop by hand) until a paste starts to form. Add the butter, orange water and sesame seeds. Pulse several times until mixed. Set aside in small bowl.
Put the semolina and flour in a large bowl and work the butter in with your fingers. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and mahleb, pour in the cooled syrup and work the dough until it is soft, pliable and easy to shape. Put the dough in freezer for 15 minutes to firm up (it's easier to mold).
Preheat your oven to 325°F.
Scoop a walnut shaped lump of dough and roll it into a ball. Using your thumb, make a dent in the center of each and fill with a teaspoon of the filling. Gently press dough up and around filling to seal, roll into a ball. Press into a maamoul mold (or flatten slightly into disc and make decorative crosshatch marks with fork on top). Turn mold over and gently tap on counter surface to dislodge from mold. Arrange on lined baking sheet an inch apart and repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a light golden color. Remove from oven and cool. Dust with powdered sugar. Store in airtight container or tin.
Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg