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close up image of arab dessert called mamool

Maamoul (Semolina Cookies)

Maamoul are tender, buttery cookies with a sweet fruit filling. Make this recipe for date-filled semolina cookies to celebrate the holidays!
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Course: desserts
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 36
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Kevin



  • 2 cups semolina
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter softened (or ghee)
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp ground mahleb (optional)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar for dusting



  • ¾ lb Medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp butter melted (or ghee)
  • 1 tbsp orange water or rose water
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


  • 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.

*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.


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