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Author Notes: The recipes I most love to create are those that take a classic or a cultural favorite and make them vegan, made with wholesome ingredients, but still retain the essence of food that makes it special. That's exactly what this recipe for Vegan Spelt Ma'amoul does. The barely-sweet, nutty biscuit exterior contrasts beautifully with the date paste filling. Made with whole spelt flour and coconut oil rather than the semolina or all-purpose flour and butter and topped with pistachio dust and turbinado sugar, this is a modern, healthful take on a Moroccan classic. —Cady
Makes 12 cookies
For the spelt cookie:
- 2 cups whole spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or other raw sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 cup refined coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or other neutral oil
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk, such as almond milk
- 1/3 cup pistachios
- 2 tablespoons turbinado or other raw sugar
For the date filling:
- 10 pitted medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water or vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment. First make your dough. Mix together your flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and salt and add to a food processor or high-powered blender. Add the oils and milk and pulse gently just until dough comes together and is slightly wet.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and place it into a bowl. Make the filling by combining the filling ingredients and blending until you get a smooth, sticky paste. Add water, one tablespoon at a time if your dates are dry or not sticky.
- Transfer the filling into another bowl. Using a foil cupcake liner placed into a 1/3 cup measuring cup, press a tablespoon of the cookie dough into a cup shape. Add a teaspoon of date paste and cover with another pinch of dough. Place on a cookie sheet.
- Repeat until your dough is gone. There may be some date paste left over. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until they are slightly golden and lose their wet appearance.
- While baking, pulse pistachios and 2 tablespoons of turbaned sugar in a food processor until you have a mealy powder.
- Sprinkle the warm cookies with pistachio sugar after removing from the oven. Let cool and enjoy with coffee or tea.
- Recipe loosely based on non-vegan Ma'amoul from Food Network.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Middle Eastern Recipe
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