Walnut Stuffed Mamoul

Walnut Stuffed Mamoul

Walnut Stuffed Mamoul 1903 1260 Rouba Shahin Middle Eastern Cooking

Walnut stuffed mamoul are buttery cookies that will melt in your mouth. They are a famous Middle Eastern shortbread popular at Eid, Christmas, and other holidays. Eid for me is incomplete without mamoul, stuffed with walnuts, dates, or pistachio. It’s the perfect reward after the month of Ramadan.

I have fond memories of baking these with my mum and sisters towards the end of Ramadan leading up to Eid.  We often stayed up until the early hours of the morning, baking and complaining to my mum about the excessive amounts of mamoul we were making (sometimes over 5kgs). She would always reply by counting the 9 members of our family.

Mamoul fillings can include walnuts, dates, pistachio, or a combination of both or other nuts. Traditionally, only nut-filled mamoul gets sprinkled with icing sugar. This recipe I’m sharing with you is my mum’s recipe, my childhood memory of our Eid Celebration.

mamoul festive cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast + 1 teaspoon sugar combined
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cups semolina (coarse)
  • 1 cup semolina (fine)
  • 150-grams pure ghee melted
  • 50-gram butter (unsalted) melted
  • cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ground
  • ¼ cup orange blossom water
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater
  • ¼ cup of milk (+1-2 tablespoons extra if required)

Walnut Filling

  • 3 cups walnuts (chopped medium to small)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom
  • ½ tablespoon rosewater

Notes from Rouba

  • Grind the walnuts medium to small. You can do this in a food processor. Be careful not to grind them too much as you want the filling to still have chunks of nuts and not turn into a paste.
  • Mamoul cookies should come out of the mould easily as they’re rich in butter. However, if you’re having difficulties, line the mould with a bit of plastic wrap, press the filled dough into it.  Use the plastic wrap to take the dough out of the mould.
  • Mamoul cookies will last up to 3-4 weeks if kept in an airtight container.
  • It’s important that the butter and ghee are not hot when poured over the semolina.
  • The oven must be preheated; otherwise, the cookies will crumble.
  • Encouraging gluten to form is the last thing you want when making mamoul cookies. The dough is not meant to be strong, sticky, and stretchy. Overmixing also encourages gluten; therefore, in step 2, I highly encourage you to knead gently by the hand and not use the food processor.
  • If you don’t have a traditional wooden mould, you can bake mamoul using any mould you have on hand. Or get one here.

Method

Step 1. 
Preheat the oven to 190° degrees.

Dilute the combined yeast and sugar with 2 tablespoons of warm water and set aside for 10 minutes until it bubbles.

Step 2.
Place the semolina and sugar in a bowl along with melted ghee and butter. Rub together until the butter and ghee are absorbed well by the semolina and you get the wet sand-like texture.

1 tsp active yeast and sugar in warm water

Add the yeast mixture and the rest of the ingredients and gently work the dough with your hands for approximately 10 minutes until it comes together and is less sticky. Don’t overwork the dough. Rest for 20-30 minutes. The longer its rests, the more the semolina granules will swell and soften.

Step 3.
Whilst the dough is resting, prepare the mamoul filling by combining all ingredients and mixing well.

Scoop a walnut-size dough and roll it into a ball. The size of your scoop will very much depend on the size of your mould. Place it in the palm of your hand and flatten it (the size of the mamoul shown below is a walnut-size ball of 20 grams).

Place in the palm of your hand and flatten it.

Step 4.
Form a small cup using your thumb. Stuff with desired nut filling, approximately ¾ filled and close gently by binding the edges together (see photo below). Roll into a smooth ball.

Stuff with desired nut filling, approximately 3/4 filled and close gently by binding the edges together

Step 5.
Place the dough in the wooden mamoul mould. Press it gently with your fingers until it becomes even with the mould surface. Tip the mould upside down and gently slam the wooden mould’s edge on a chopping board until the mamoul drops out of it (remember you can use any mould).

Tip the mould upside down and gently slam the wooden mould’s edge on a cutting board until the ma'amoul drops out of it.

Step 6.
Bake the mamoul in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown (8-10 minutes) and the mamoul begins to turn slightly pinkish.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10- 15 minutes. Dust with icing sugar. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container.

Ma'amoul Cookies served in a cystal bowl for Eid

Servings: makes approximately 50 small cookies (but remember it depends on the size of your mould)

Why you will love these:

Buttery and rich
Nut or date filling
Melt-in-your-mouth cookies
Festive Eid cookies

Other fillings you may like to try:

Pistachio Filling

  • 3 cups pistachio (chopped medium to small)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom
  • ½ tablespoon rose water

Date Filling

  • 3 cups dates, pitted chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Chop the dates finely.
  2. Wash them.
  3. Place them in a saucepan.
  4. Add the butter.
  5. Simmer on low until the dates soften and become a paste.

Sahtan – Enjoy In Good Health