Maamoul: Stuffed Date-Orange Cookies

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 20 cookies
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Ingredients

Filling:

1/2 pound pitted soft Medjool dates

2 tablespoons water

Pinch fine salt

1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, plus about 1/2 to 2 cups more for dusting

Pinch fine salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), plus 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil, such as canola

1/4 cup milk

Apricot Golden Raisin Nut Filling:

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

1/3 cup golden raisins

3 tablespoons apricot jam

Pinch fine salt

Quince-Walnut Filling:

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

1/3 cup quince jam

Pinch fine salt

Directions

  1. Dough:
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. 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.
  4. Put the flour, baking powder, the 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse 3 to 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.
  5. 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 teaspoon 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.
  6. 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 to 30 minutes. Dust generously with confectioners' sugar, cool and dust again.
  7. Apricot Golden Raisin Nut Filling:
  8. Puree in a food processor until evenly combined.
  9. Quince-Walnut Filling:
  10. Puree in a food processor until evenly combined.
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