Ingredients

  • 140g semolina, plus extra for dusting
  • 35g farina (potato starch)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground mahlab or ground almonds
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted, for dusting

For the pistachio filling

  • 35g shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp orange blossom water

For the walnut filling

  • 35g walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp orange blossom water

For the date and walnut filling

  • 40g pitted dates
  • 4-5 walnuts
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp butter, melted

Method

  1. 1

    Put the semolina, farina, sugar and mahlab in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and orange blossom water and beat well. Knead the mixture for 3-4 minutes, working it into a pliable dough. Cover with clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, prepare the fillings. For the pistachio filling, put the pistachios, sugar and orange blossom water in a small food processor or blender. Whizz for 1 minute to form a rough paste, then transfer to a bowl and wash the food processor.

  3. 3

    For the walnut filling, put the walnuts, sugar and orange blossom water in the washed food processor or blender. Whizz for 1 minute to form a rough paste. Transfer to a bowl and wash the food processor.

  4. 4

    For the date and walnut filling, put the dates, walnuts and nutmeg in the washed food processor or blender. Melt the butter and add to the mixture, then whizz for 1 minute to form a rough paste.

  5. 5

    Remove the dough from the refrigerator and leave to rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then knead it for 2 minutes. Divide the dough into three even-sized amounts and roll out each piece into a long, thin, rod-like shape. Pinch off small lumps of the dough (about 2.5cm/1in pieces), and flatten them with your palms, making sure it’s quite thin but not so thin that it will tear.

  6. 6

    Dust the ma’amoul mould cavities with semolina and then invert and tap gently to remove the excess. Gently flatten the dough into each mould cavity and add the relevant filling. Bring the edges together and seal well, then flatten the surface to create a level base for the cookie to sit on, pinching off any excess dough. Gently release by tapping the mould on the work surface. Repeat until you have about eight pistachio cookies, eight walnut cookies and ten date and walnut cookies (which are smaller). Each of your cookies should be clearly stamped with its design.

  7. 7

    If you don't have ma'amoul moulds, take a flattened piece of dough, put a little filling in the centre and draw the edges of the dough up around the filling. Pinch the dough together to make a sealed ball, then roll the cookie between your palms to smooth it out. Press gently to flatten the cookie slightly. Repeat until all the dough is used up.

  8. 8

    Preheat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6. Dust a baking sheet with semolina and place the cookies on it. Bake for 10-15 minutes for the larger cookies and about 8-10 minutes for the smaller ones until the sides are slightly golden in colour. Leave to cool, then dust with icing sugar.

The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy (£14.99, Nourish Books)

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 360kj 86kcal 4%
  • Fat 4.6g 7%
  • Saturates 1.7g 9%
  • Sugars 3.0g 3%
  • Salt 0.01g <1%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 2244kj/536kcal

Each serving provides

8.9g carbohydrate 0.6g fibre 1.9g protein

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