Maamoul, an ancient cookie, is served around Easter as well as Eid (means a “festival” or “feast” in Arabic) and is a traditional pressed cookies recipe. Maamoul cookies (meaning “filled” in Arabic) are a handmade shortbread cookie stuffed with a variety of fillings such as fig, dates, walnuts and pistachios. Today, we will be looking at Fig Maamoul and you will learn how to make this fig filled cookie recipe.
When is a Maamoul Pressed Cookies Recipe Made
They are very popular mostly in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and Palestine. For Muslims, maamoul cookies are traditionally made for Eid, the three-day celebration after completing the Ramadan month of fasting. Visiting families, relatives, and friends are very special during the Eid celebrations; and sharing a lot of foods (especially handmade) are very similar to Thanksgiving Day. These traditional handmade cookies are stored well, so this pressed cookies recipe is perfect to prepare as an alternative to Baklava for treating special guests.
Fig Maamoul: A Fig Filled Cookie Recipe Twist to Tradition
Traditional maamoul cookies are made from yeasted semolina, also you can add some flavor to the dough by using some spices such as mahlab and nutmeg, and you can use rose water instead of plain water in the recipe. If you are looking for an easier option in making the fig filled cookie recipe, it is better to skip yeast and just use plain all purpose flour instead of semolina. Then, you can move to the fun part: pressing them into special molds, traditionally carved in wood. If it is not easy to find the traditional wooden mold, you can also use Mooncake molds as an alternative for the similar patterns. Additionally, this is a great activity with your little ones to let them help you mold the cookies and also learn the traditions.
How to Eat Fig Maamoul
These fig filled cookies are deliciously sweet to enjoy with your family and friends. Serve them with traditional Turkish coffee or a cup of black tea. Do not forget to dust some powdered sugar on the top of cookies, this will help you show their pattern prettier and decorate with some ground pistachios.
Fig Maamoul Pressed Cookies Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups fine semolina flour
- 5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (or ghee)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 6 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Mission Dried Figs
- 2 ounces pistachios
Make the Filling
- In a food processor pulse the Mission Figs and pistachios into crumbs. Set aside.
Make the Dough
- Put the semolina in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the melted butter and vegetable oil and mix well. Knead the dough until it comes together nicely into a shaggy dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 4 hours.* Overnight is best. (*This step is crucial because it allows the semolina to absorb the moisture and increase in size.)
- In a small bowl prepare the yeast mixture. Mix instant yeast, sugar, and warm water and let it rise for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining dried ingredients to the semolina mixture and mix well. You can use a stand mixer with paddle attachment at this point on low speed. Add wet ingredients and yeast mixture, mix again for a few minutes until it has formed into a smooth dough.
Shape + Bake the Fig Maamoul
- To shape the cookies with a maamoul mold, take one tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball; slightly ﬂatten it with your hands, then press it into the bottom and up the sides of the mold. Take one teaspoon of the fig filling and roll it into a ball; slightly ﬂatten it and gently press it into the dough in the mold. Take a teaspoon of dough again and press the dough on the top. Don’t leave any gap on the dough.
- Turn your mold and tap it firmly onto parchment paper until the cookie falls out.
- Place the cookies on a sheet pan with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 12-13 minutes or the edges are slightly brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool at room temperature. Dust with powdered sugar and pistachios. Enjoy!