Filled Semolina Cookies (Ma’amoul)

Filled Semolina Cookies (Ma’amoul)

Prep. 20 mins
Cooking 25 mins
Serving 4
Middle Eastern

INGREDIENTS Measurements

  Date Filling

2 cups soft pitted dates, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cardamom

  Nut Filling

2 cups ground walnuts or pistachios
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rose water


1 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fine semolina flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
Icing sugar, for serving (optional)


  Date Filling

  • Mix dates, oil, sesame seeds, and cinnamon or cardamom to a paste. Shape into small balls the size of hazelnuts.

  Nuts Filling

  • 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.

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