You can use melted butter instead of ghee. I prefer ghee because of its texture and nutty flavor. The amount of date paste used in this recipe depends on the size of cookies you decide to make. If you have any extra date filling, store it in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 6 months. You can use it later for another batch of ma’amoul. If making the date paste from scratch, put 14 to 16 pitted Medjool dates in a food processor with 1 tablespoon ghee, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom and blend until smooth.