Maamoul - Stuffed Date-Orange Cookies


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A unique and tender cookie favored by both Jewish and Middle Eastern bakers alike. Try making them with all three delicious fillings.

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  • Filling:
  • 1/2 lb. pitted soft Medjool dates
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1/4 C. finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • Dough:
  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbs. confectioners' sugar, plus about 1/2-2 C. more for dusting
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1/2 C. unsalted butter (1 stick), plus 2 Tbs.
  • 2 Tbs. neutral flavored oil, such as canola
  • 1/4 C. milk

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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. To make the filling, puree the filling ingredients in a food processor until evenly combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Clean the processor bowl.

Put the flour, baking powder, the 1 Tbs. confectioners' sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse 3-4 times to mix. Add the butter, oil, and milk pulsing until the dough just comes together. Take care not to overwork the dough; it will be slightly wet.

Remove dough from the processor, and roll into 20 equally sized balls. In the palm of your hand, press and pat each ball of dough into a 2 3/4-inch round. Place a rounded tsp. of filling in the center of each round and draw the edges up and around the filling. Pinch the dough together to make a sealed ball, and then carefully roll the cookie between your palms to make a smooth round ball. Press gently to flatten the cookie slightly, then place them seamed side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Gently prick the cookies with a fork or a wooden skewer in a decorative pattern taking care not to pierce the dough to the filling.

Bake the cookies until firm and slightly puffed, and the tops are pale but the bottoms are just beginning to turn slightly golden, about 25-30 minutes. Dust generously with confectioners' sugar, cool and dust again.

Variations: Other Fillings:

Apricot Golden Raisin Nut Filling:

1/3 C. hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (other nuts can be substituted)

1/3 C. golden raisins

3 Tbs. apricot jam

Pinch fine salt

Puree in a food processor until evenly combined.

Quince-Walnut Filling:

1/2 C. walnuts, toasted

1/3 C. quince jam

Pinch fine salt

Puree in a food processor until evenly combined.

Note: Take care not to overcook these cookies; the baked dough should be very pale and tender.

Yield: 20 cookies

From: Food Network Kitchens

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