Ma'moul cookies are so popular in middle eastern countries.. They are shortbread pastries filled with dates and almond filling or you can also make these using figs and walnuts, pistachios.. —PistachioDoughnut
2 dozen cokies
Butter or vegetable shortening
Rose water or you can also use orange blossom water
Mahlab ground found at middle eastern stores , they are the small form of almonds found in the seeds of plum. You can use almond instead
Dates pitted and chopped
Sugar, you can definitely decrease a little more sugar as dates are sweet by themselves
Combine 1 cup butter and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended.
Beat in milk and rosewater
Beat in flour, 1/4 cup at a time until well blended.Add, the semolina and almond meal or mahlab.
Knead dough in bowl until dough holds together an is easy to shape.
Combine dates, water, granulated sugar and almond meal in small saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until mixture becomes thick a thick paste.
Stir in orange peel . Remove from heat, let it cool. (You can also use cinnamon powder , nutmeg or cardamom powder into the filling.)
To form the cookies - Pinch off walnut sized piece of dough, roll into ball. Pinch sides up to form pot shape.
Fill center with level tablespoonful of date filling.
Pinch dough closed, press to seal into a ball. Slightly flatten them and place them on baking sheet with some spacing. Another method is you roll out the pastry dough and cut out cookie shapes with the help of cookie cutter and place the on one cookie and cover it with another cookie and seal it properly and press the edges with fork.
Place the cookies into a pre-heated oven at 325 F for about 10 to 15 minutes. Do not let them brown. They should light in color but baked well.
Once done, remove them from oven and place them on a cooling rack for about 2 minutes or so and the sprinkle some powdered sugar if you wish.