Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar and is dedicated to prayer, self-reflection, and charity. During this holy month, participants fast from sunrise through sunset. The next month, a 3-day celebration, Eid al-Fitr, is held to mark the end of Ramadan and the fasting month. During this celebration, friends and families come together to share food and exchange gifts.

Ma’amoul is one such dessert that is enjoyed during Eid al-Fitr and are given to visiting guests. The outer shell is made of semolina and has a similar texture to shortbread. Inside is a sweet date paste filling flavored with rose or orange blossom water. Other popular variations include pistachio or walnut filling. It’s said that these cookies are a reminder “that though fasting is hard, within it is a sweet reward”.


  • Dough Ingredients
    • 2 cups semolina
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tbsp. ground mahleb
    • Salt
    • 1 cup ghee, melted
    • 1 tbsp. dry milk
    • 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
    • 3 tbsp. simple syrup
    • 1/4-1/3 cup milk, warmed
  • Date Filling Ingredients
    • 13 oz. date paste
    • 1 tsp. ghee
    • 1 tbsp. rose or orange blossom water


  1. Melt the ghee in a microwave in increments of 30 seconds to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the semolina, flour, mahleb, and a dash of salt.
  3. Pour in the melted ghee. Stir well to mix.
  4. Knead the mixture lightly with your hands to ensure the semolina is fully incorporated.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it thaw to reach room temperature and soften.
  7. Add in the dry milk and yeast. Mix well.
  8. Pour in the simple syrup. Add in the milk little by little until the dough is soft and can be rolled into a ball.
  9. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
  10. To make the filling, mix the date paste, ghee, and rose or orange blossom water together. Set aside for later.
  11. After 1 hour, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  12. Divide the dough into 24 balls. Use your thumb to make a well in each ball and fill with the date mixture. Wrap the edges of the dough around the filling and roll into a ball. Press each ball into a mold or flatten a bit with your hands and make decorative lines with a fork.
  13. Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes then move to the top rack for an additional 7-10 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden.
  14. Let cool completely before serving. If desired, sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar.

*Original recipe from Amira’s Pantry.

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