Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Ma’amoul (Dates & Pistachios Filled Cookies)

Chanit of My Mom’s Recipes and More left a comment on my blog last month. To return the compliments I visited her blog, and what I found was a very detailed recipe for mamoul (dates filled cookies) with photos. I knew I had to try it. What attracted me to this recipe more than anything is the use of semolina for dough. I did some googling on these famous Middle Eastern cookies to know more about them and how they are made. Next, I went and bought the ingredients: fine Tunisian pitted dates, pistachios and wooden ma’amoul mold from the only ethnic grocery store in our small town, Ghossians Mid East Bakery.

I did experiment with the recipe. First, I used ghee instead of butter because ghee is not only more flavorful and unlike butter has no unnecessary baggage. I reduced the ratio of all-purpose flour to semolina. I also complimented the dates filling by adding pistachios. Finally I skipped the eggs. One more thing is I prepped the mamoul mold with ghee so that when cookie dough pressed into the mold and reversed, it can come out easily without sticking to the mold.

The final result of my experimentation was exquisite, one of a kind sweet cookies, the one I am going to make many more times from now on. A delicious paradox, they have a mildly sweet, crisp and grainy outside because of semolina and insides are moistly sweet and tender. Thanks Chanit! It is little bit of time consuming to make these using the ma’amoul mold but I had time and so happy with the beautiful outcome.

Ma'amoul mould, Pistachios, Dates, Rose water, Semolina, All Pupose Flour (Maida)


2 cups – semolina
½ cup – all purpose flour (maida)
½ cup – melted ghee
½ cup – powdered sugar ( or more if you like sweet cookie covering)
1 tablespoon – rose water
1 teaspoon – active dried yeast melted in 1 tablespoon of luke warm water
Pinch of salt

Melt the ghee and cool it to room temperature. Sift the all purpose flour(maida) and mix it with semolina and ghee. Add the yeast water, rose water, powdered sugar and salt. Mix and make a dough by adding little bit of water. Set aside for about 3 hours, covered, to rest.

Cookie Dough after 3 hours of rest and Dates-Pistachios Filling Making of Ma'amouls - Pressing the cookies dough into ma'amoul mold

Dates- Pistachios Filling:
2 cups – fresh soft-pitted dates
½ cup shelled pistachios
¼ cup – powdered cane sugar
1 teaspoon – rose water
and Ma’amoul mould to press and shape the cookies

In a food processor, take pistachios and powder to fine. Then add the dates, sugar and rose water. Blend them together into fine paste. Remove to a cup.

Ma'amouls (Dates-Nut filled Cookies) Ready for Oven Ma'amouls After 20 minutes in the Oven


After 3 hours of rest, knead and divide the dough into lime sized balls. Flatten each ball using your hand and lift the sides up to form a hollow. It is now ready for the filling. Place one tablespoon of dates-pistachios filling into the hollowed dough. Close the dough over the dates mixture. Press the edges to seal well. Press it into the ma’amoul mold to give it a decorated appearance. Reverse the mold; gently shake to loosen it from the mold. Prepare each one in this way and place them neatly in rows, on a greased/parchment paper lined baking tray.

Place the tray in a preheated oven at 350° F and bake for about 20 minutes. I reversed the cookies to the opposite side after 10 minutes in the oven for even baking. After 20 minutes or when they turn lightly golden, remove them from the oven and let them cool.

Ma'amouls (Dates-Pistachios Filled Cookies)

Ma’amoul (Dates-Pistachios Filled Cookies) ~ Delicate, rose flavored and naturally sweet. Our Thanksgiving treat and contribution to this month’s SHF-IMBB Cookie-Swap event.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida),Dates (kharjuram),Ghee,Molasses,Pistachios,Sugar, Jaggery and Honey,Suji/Semolina (Friday November 25, 2005 at 8:46 pm- permalink)
Comments (63)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

63 comments for Ma’amoul (Dates & Pistachios Filled Cookies) »

  1. Beautiful cookies, Indira. Even the mold looks like an art form. Great entry! I am speechless…

    Comment by mika — November 25, 2005 @ 9:36 pm

  2. Thanks Mika. I was little bit nervous about how they are going to come out being the first time using the mold. It worked perfect, 4 dollars didn’t go waste.:)

    Comment by Indira — November 25, 2005 @ 9:52 pm

  3. Wow! That looks decadent Indira! What’s that instrument you used to shape them? What is it called?

    Comment by Meena — November 25, 2005 @ 10:02 pm

  4. Lovely!


    Comment by Anonymous — November 25, 2005 @ 10:27 pm

  5. Wow! What a treat! Brilliant results Indira.

    Comment by VK Narayanan — November 25, 2005 @ 11:48 pm

  6. These look so beautiful Indira…I am sure they taste absolutely wonderful as well….I can imagine this wonderful melt-in-the-mouth sweetness…
    Dates are great for the winter too…rich and iron and all that…I remembet my mother telling us to feast on dates in the cold weather

    Comment by AA — November 26, 2005 @ 2:16 am

  7. They look *exquisite* ! That mold is such a great buy…the results are astounding! Thanks for introducing me to a great ethnic cookie.

    Comment by Nupur — November 26, 2005 @ 7:36 am

  8. They look LOVELY! I wonder if using some other kind of dried fruit would work as well – I mean, it doesnt HAVE to be dates, does it?

    Comment by shammi — November 26, 2005 @ 9:47 am

  9. OH MY! Those are so beautiful! What a special “new” tradition! Alanna

    Comment by Alanna — November 26, 2005 @ 10:22 am

  10. Indira !
    Thanks for sharing us with those pictures ,I love the way YOU make these COOKIES, they are very very pretty !(and I’m sure tasty too)
    Hope to find here,in Israel this mold.

    Comment by Chanit — November 26, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

  11. Indira- $4 for the mold- that is a steal!!!

    Comment by mika — November 26, 2005 @ 2:46 pm

  12. Indira – those are so pretty and unusual and well turned out!


    Comment by sam — November 26, 2005 @ 3:26 pm

  13. Your Ma’amouls look beautiful and delicious! I’ve always wanted to try making them, so now I’ll have the opportunity to try them thanks to your recipe…

    Comment by Rosa — November 26, 2005 @ 5:46 pm

  14. *drooling all over the place*

    Comment by Sandhya — November 26, 2005 @ 6:43 pm

  15. Indira…what beautiful cookies!

    I just didn’t have time for this event (can you believe it?); I’ve yet to put my holiday cookie list togther!

    Honestly, though; gorgeous cookies.

    Comment by Stephanie — November 26, 2005 @ 7:16 pm

  16. Indira – these are really lovely! I’m going to have to make these – thanks so much for the source on the mold and the dates!!

    Comment by Cathy — November 27, 2005 @ 10:15 am

  17. lovely. how i wish i can have one bite. just one bite!

    Comment by rokh — November 27, 2005 @ 3:10 pm

  18. They are gorgeous, Indira!

    Comment by lisasd — November 27, 2005 @ 8:55 pm

  19. I’m tempted to try these. They look so beautiful. They must taste great too.

    Comment by Kay — November 29, 2005 @ 10:04 am

  20. Indira,
    Gosh I was going through your website with my wifey sitting along and I could get that hint of green in her face;))))) (Not that I am pink;)))))

    Wowzy! Great recipe and fantastic improvisations! Congrats on turning out a culinary delight. I need to visit your site often! *sigh* But if I do then I seem to lose interest in my job and want to do some serious cooking and baking:))))))

    Indira says…
    Green and pink are making me red and bloated ( with your compliments) 🙂
    Thanks for your kind words and please say hello to your wife.

    Comment by Thamaraiselvan — November 29, 2005 @ 11:27 am

  21. Thank you all for taking time and writing these nice words about Ma’amouls. I really appreciate them.

    Comment by Indira — November 30, 2005 @ 9:54 pm

  22. Wow! Add me to the list of ‘those who covet’!

    I’m looking at how to make the request for such molds from woodworking friends *now*. I’ll also have to play with making a ceramic ones 🙂

    Indira says…
    Thanks McAuliflower! Friends and resources to make your own mold, how lucky for you! I’d love to see what design you come up with ceramic.

    Comment by McAuliflower — December 2, 2005 @ 11:28 pm

  23. those are beautiful cookies and look very yummy indeed!

    Indira says…
    Thanks Eliza.

    Comment by eliza — December 4, 2005 @ 3:44 pm

  24. Very very nice. Dates and pistachios are such a great combination! Great choice and what a great addition to a holiday cookie plate!

    Indira says…

    Comment by chronicler — December 5, 2005 @ 1:09 am

  25. I was so drawn to your post. It is very unique. I guess I am not the only one who thought so. Good job!

    Indira says…
    Thanks Sarah Lou!

    Comment by Sarah Lou — December 5, 2005 @ 12:49 pm

  26. Beautiful! Are they as delicious as they look?

    Indira says…
    Hello Rorie, Thanks! They are delicious to me but I am not sure my recipe suits to everyone taste. I made them, without using white sugar. Sweetness is mainly from dates and I added very few tbsp of molasses. The taste is more subdued and lingering. I liked them in this way.

    Comment by Rorie — December 5, 2005 @ 3:41 pm

  27. Indira –

    These cookies just look fantastic. A very ancient feel to them as well – I think this would be a good addition to my Christmas list. Thanks for sharing!


    Indira says…
    I agree with you about ancient thing, afterall they are made without using white sugar. I just checked you entries, fabulous! Apricot-cranberry cookies of yours giving me serious cravings. I am going to try them. Thanks Rosie!

    Comment by Rosie — December 6, 2005 @ 12:49 am

  28. congratulations on the win. This was my favourite entry of all.

    Comment by sam — December 9, 2005 @ 1:12 pm

  29. congratulations indira!!! This cookie was one of my favorites! I wanted to bake it but till now, I didn’t. I liked the semolina as ingredients in mamul. I didn’t know it before!
    congratulation again!

    Comment by dilek — December 9, 2005 @ 1:38 pm


    Congrats Indira!!!

    Comment by Mathy — December 9, 2005 @ 2:26 pm

  31. Sam, Dilek… Thanks somuch and I really appreciate you informing me about the win.

    Mathy.. Thanks!
    (Outside links make the comment go into moderation for spam,until my approval, in case you are wondering about the comment.)

    Comment by Indira — December 9, 2005 @ 2:57 pm

  32. Congrats Indira. Your cookies looks yum:)

    Indira says…
    Thanks Priya!

    Comment by Priya — December 9, 2005 @ 3:08 pm

  33. They look gorgeous Indira….congrats on your win…it deserves the win 🙂

    Indira says…
    Thank you IBH!

    Comment by IBH — December 9, 2005 @ 3:31 pm

  34. WOW Indira u r one of the winneres out of 107 entries, dont u think that great !congratulations. U definetely deserve it.

    Indira says…
    Thanks Priya. I can’t tout my own horn, I am bashful in that way:)

    Comment by priya,ar — December 9, 2005 @ 6:10 pm

  35. congratulations !!!

    I’ve voted for your cookies Too ! 🙂

    Indira says…
    Chanit, thank you somuch for the recipe and for voting for ma’amouls!

    Comment by Chanit — December 12, 2005 @ 3:55 pm

  36. hi ur recipes good but can i use something else other than molasses coz i live in uae and difficult to get molasses.

    Indira says..
    Hi Rehana, Sugar works just fine. Original recipe uses sugar only and the cookies are in a shade of beautiful creamy white. Try them and let me know how they turned out. Thanks!

    Comment by rehana — December 18, 2005 @ 7:37 am

  37. I went to Adonis today (our famous Montreal lebanese supermarket) and while waiting my turn to be served at the nuts station, I noticed several Ma’amoul wooden molds (with different designs) on the counter. I remembered reading your recipe and noticing the beautiful shape of the cookies. I bought 2 molds! They were 2.99$ (canadian $) each. I realize now they are really not expensive. I’ll go back and buy two other different designs of these molds. Needless to say, I’m making your recipe. I’ll bring the Ma’amouls to my sister’s big New Year’s Eve party on Saturday.
    Thank you for this great recipe and the discovery of the molds !

    Indira says…
    Hi Zoubida, that’s just great. Don’t you love how pretty the molds with different designs look. I too like you was so tempted to buy few more designs. If you want more information on ma’amouls, you can also check the other links I provided. In addition to Chanit link, there is one very authentic Middle eastern recipe link is also there. Check them all out. Any recipe you follow, I know the end result will look fabulous and a crowd pleaser.
    Best wishes and have a great New year’s eve party!

    Comment by Zoubida — December 27, 2005 @ 6:22 pm

  38. Hello Indira,
    I made the ma’aamouls and they had great success.
    I used a mix of all the recipes, yours and the others you suggested to look at.
    This is a keeper! Much better than the date-squares we make here in Canada and which I find to be teeth-achingly-sweet in addition of being quite fat and heavy (the ones I tasted anyway).
    I wished my molds left a better defined identation though. Mayby I’ll have to ask my husband to sculpt the details deeper in the wood.
    You can see the pictures on my blog. I’ll post about Ma’aamouls soon and will link to your recipe.
    Thank you and very happy new year!

    Indira says..
    That’s great Zoubida. I am happy that they turned out well and you enjoyed them. Thanks for letting me know. Looking forward to seeing recipe and photos at your blog.
    Happy new year!

    Comment by Zoubida — January 3, 2006 @ 11:40 pm

  39. Indira,
    Ever since I saw these mamoul cookies here, I wanted to make them. So the other day I toiled till 1 am in the morning to get them right. I could not grind the pistachios and dates well and hence I had to crush them with my pestle. But at the end the result was ok(i did not have the mold- could not get one). By far this was the most toughest thing I ever cooked. I want to give it one more shot with a mold. This was the firs time I wanted to cook something so bad. The taste was ok too. As I said I am going to pioneer ma’moul.

    Comment by Mythili — March 23, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

  40. i’ve tried a few different recipes for mamoul, and have found the easiest way to get the nuts just right, is to use a food processor. and also , not to cook brown, take out just before they turn.

    Comment by laura — May 7, 2006 @ 7:06 pm

  41. I was so glad to come across this recipe. thank you so much. I’d like to use sugar instead of mollasses and butter instead of ghee. can you please tell how much i should use of each in grams? thanks once again

    Comment by Umm maryam — June 13, 2006 @ 12:44 am

  42. I guess I just have to use 1 1/2 cups of melted butter instead? I’d like to halve the recipe so is the following proportion right?

    1 cup semolina, 1/4 cup maida, 3/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1tsp rose water, 1/2 tsp yeast in 1tsp of warm water ? Can you please correct me if I am wrong?

    and for the filling how much sugar would be the half of that? Sorry for the trouble. Thanks

    Comment by Umm maryam — June 13, 2006 @ 1:42 am


    Comment by rania — October 16, 2006 @ 1:11 am

  44. Hi, I simply love your mold. So pretty.

    Comment by small cookie — November 22, 2006 @ 6:49 am

  45. WOW, They look so beautiful and yummy. Good work…

    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Nidhi — December 12, 2006 @ 7:52 pm




    Comment by LUNA — January 24, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

  47. I would like to purchase the mamoul molds. Do you sell them, I couldn’t find the price or shapes you have. Thank you Charlotte

    Comment by Charlotte — February 1, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

  48. hello ma’am
    good morning i want know where i will get that mold in hyderbad. because i am native of hyderabad. i want to try these cookies.

    Comment by padmaja — February 25, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

  49. Hi,
    The receipe is very simple and sweet. I would like to try this receipe today. I have a small doubt. I would like to know how to prepare yeast at home.

    Comment by Hema — April 18, 2007 @ 9:27 am

  50. Hi Indira
    I think my previous comment didnnt go through.
    Aren’t these pictures yours?

    Indira replies,
    Hi SL,
    Thanks very much for taking time to post the link here.
    Yes, photos are mine. Looks like this website Lakii stole the images and added their website mark to them. Shameless people!

    Comment by spice lover — August 16, 2007 @ 8:25 am

  51. hi!

    i stumbled across this page while searching the web for a pistachio date ball recipe, like the ones i used to buy from a small grocery store in montreal. from what i could tell (judging only from the taste), the ingredients were very simple, probably only dates and pistachios and some spice. in fact, the recipe for the cookie filling on this page looks pretty much like what i imagine the recipe for the date balls would be! i’m going to give it a try anyways, but my question for you is this: is there an actual traditional indian recipe for date balls?


    Comment by BlueChai — October 5, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

  52. could you pls. tell me where to get buy the mold for ma’moul? is it possible to replace semolina flour by all-purpose flour?


    Hi Cyndi, usually mamould molds are sold in middle-eastern shops.
    I have used fine semolina in my recipe ( available at Indian grocery shops). Semolina is different from semilina flour.
    You sure can make the mamouls with all-purpose flour.
    Hope this helps.
    – Indira

    Comment by cyndi golez — October 18, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  53. Hi Indira,

    Recipe looked so great that I tried it for my cooking class. HOwever, 3 cups of melted ghee (I had to do twice the amount) where way too much. The dough was liquid, and I had to add more flour. As the result, the dough tastes awesome, but almost impossible to deal with. Is this really the amount of oil needed???


    Comment by Irina — November 19, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

  54. Indira,

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I made them yesterday.

    Comment by Kumudha — December 1, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

  55. Is the amount of butter/ghee correct? The dough was oily and the cookies spread out in the oven. The flavor was good but I think the the amount of butter needs to be reduced.

    Hi Kathy, sorry about the amount. It should be about half cup and I have corrected the recipe.
    Again sorry.
    – Indira

    Comment by kathy — December 9, 2007 @ 8:40 pm

  56. Beautiful Maamouls! I purchased the ingredients & molds. Can you please explain – step by step -how to use the mold? I’m not sure how to close the “bottom” of the cookie once the dough is in the mold, and filled.

    How then do you cover the bottom of the cookie without creating two layers, or a seam? Please advise.

    Comment by Farah — September 17, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  57. thanku so much for your recipe, If not for your recipe, I couldn’t have made the perfect ma3moul for Eid…everyone was complimenting me and saying that i perfected it this time 🙂 my secret was your recipe, now I will make them every Eid inshallah…and everyone will get to eat the nice ma3moul that come out nice and soft. 🙂 !! thankyou!!!!!!!

    Comment by anwaar — October 3, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

  58. Hi Indiara,
    Where can I find that mold.I want to buy the mold and try this.


    Comment by Madhu — August 31, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

  59. i have loong been searching for a mammoul recipe! thanks yours look and sound perfect. will definitely use this recipe when i want to make this delicious cookie!

    Comment by Tamanna — October 1, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

  60. I made mamoul today with my Meccan friend. Used a different recipe just to let you know about some variations on flavoring. My friend uses olive oil rather than butter and adds black seed and whole anise seed to the dough and filling as well as mahleb. The seeds are very tasty. She adds no sugar to the dough or filling since the dates are sugary.

    Comment by Natasha A — June 25, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  61. Lovely recipe.. I never tried maamoul with dates+pistachio as a filling, gotta try it one day it looks pretty good 🙂

    Comment by Mama's Lebanese Kitchen — October 17, 2011 @ 9:41 am

  62. […] source […]

    Pingback by Vegan MoFo #12: Raw Vegan Ma'amoul Cookies - One Arab Vegan — May 28, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

  63. Where can I find this mold in United States?

    Comment by Neha — September 3, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

Your Comment


(required but not published)

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

It sounds like SK2 has recently been updated on this blog. But not fully configured. You MUST visit Spam Karma's admin page at least once before letting it filter your comments (chaos may ensue otherwise).