Mix dates, oil, sesame seeds, and cinnamon or cardamom to a paste. Shape into small balls the size of hazelnuts.
Mix walnuts or pistachios with sugar and rose water. Fillings can be made right before shaping and baking the dough
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring butter and milk to a boil. Mix all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and sugar in a large bowl. Pour hot milk mixture into flour mixture all at once, beating constantly with a wooden spoon until cool. Using your fingertips, rub in orange blossom water until fully incorporated.
Cover with kitchen towel and let set for at least 3 hours (or preferably overnight).
Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F).
Knead dough by hand for 5 minutes until soft and pliable. Shape dough into walnut-size balls. Press thumb into balls to make cups. Fill cups with balls of date or a generous teaspoon of nut filling. Mold dough over filling, pressing seams to seal. Roll into balls. If desired, press balls into decorated molds (see photo above), tapping them out onto a work surface. Arrange on a baking sheet.
Bake on middle rack of oven for 25 minutes, or until golden.
Let cool, then arrange on a serving plate. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving, if desired.
Ma’amoul Molds: Wooden cookie molds in different patterns and shapes, made from the wood of apricot trees.
With marked enthusiasm for his subject and expertise in the cooking field, Chef Osama El-Sayed, C.E.C. can take his audience through a world of culinary delights in several easy steps. With an audience of over a millions viewers on several continents, it is no wonder that Chef Osama has learned to take complex cooking techniques and recipes then simplify them for basic home cooks. Chef Osama’s show "Ma Osama Atyab" - "It's More Delicious with Osama" airs live daily on Dubai TV.