Saturday, September 7, 2013

Maamoul Cookies

Maamouls are what I would call, cookies from Heaven!! They melt in the mouth and make you feel like you are in the seventh heaven. These little goodies, packed with rich nuts, scented with orange blossom water and sweetened with honey are so addicting that you would never want to stop eating them.



























Here's the recipe.

Ingredients:
White flour - 4 cups - 6 cups
Unsalted butter - 1lb chilled
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Chilled water - 1/4 cup
Orange blossom water - 2 tbs
Maamoul mould

Method:
1. Cut the chilled butter into cubes.

2. Place the flour, salt and sugar in the food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times.

3. Add the butter and pulse again  3 or 4 times, till the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.

4. At this stage add the orange blossom water followed by chilled water little by little with each pulse till it forms into a soft dough. Squeeze the dough to check. It should  be soft but not sticky.

5. Pound the nuts coarsely. You can use different fillings with mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios and walnuts) or just pistachios or just almonds in combination with honey/icing sugar and orange blossom water. You can also use just date paste mixed with orange blossom water. Or dates and mixed nuts with orange blossom water. For the maamoul fillings recipe click here.

6. Make small round balls of the dough. Make slightly bigger balls of the filling. You can use different moulds for different fillings.

7. Make a depression in the small rounds of the dough then shape them like a bowl by swirling around with your fingers . Place the ball of the filling in the bowl, close the circle over the filling and smoothen it like a ball. Please note that there should be a considerably thin layer of dough around the filling (not so thin that the filling comes out on baking and not so thick that there's hardly any filling inside). Keep a paper towel handy to wipe your hands each time you touch the filling otherwise the dough would get discolored with your sticky fingers and it would be hard to give shape.





8. Roll the filled rounds in the flour, dust the moulder too with a little flour then overturn it and tap to shake off the excess flour.

9. Place the filled maamoul in the selected shape in the maamoul moulder and press it with your palm.

10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

11. Now tap the moulder on the edge of the cookie sheet so that the maamoul stuck in the mould falls off on to the cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the maamouls.

12. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Bake the maamouls for around 10 -12 minutes till the base of the maamoul is lightly golden brown. After 12 mins take a flat thin spatula and lift the base of a maamoul to see if it is done. Switch off the oven and leave them inside for 3-4 minutes.  Remove when they look firm at the top and lightly golden brown at the base.



13. Cool on wire wrack for one hour. Dust them with icing sugar after they cool down completely and enjoy.

Tips: 

Do not store these cookies in the fridge. Store them in a cool dry place in an air tight container or cookie jar. They stay fresh outside for 2 - 4 weeks. You may freeze them if you want to store for longer periods of time. But bring them to room temperature before serving them.







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