Apricot + Pistachio Ma’amoul


 Prep Time : 15 + 60 Minutes | Cook Time : 25 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Fiddly

Hello my lovelies! A friend of mine introduced me to ma’amoul just last week. I was captivated immediately. There’s so much to love. Ma’amoul go by various names across the middle east and have a variety of flavours. They can be made of semolina or flour. I first made a traditional flavour combination with a filling of dates and walnuts. I could immediately see the possibilities. A little more acidity from apricots instead. Mixing semolina and flour to get the best of both. Baking a little longer than traditional to bring out buttery notes. The cookies should stay completely white after baking. But in the interests of flavour I am stepping out. These cookies are a little fiddly to make. There’s a knack to it that comes fairly quickly. Be patient and let the simple activity soothe you. These little bites of glory are worth the effort. That 60 minutes is accurate. As you make them you will get faster but make sure you have time so you don’t have to rush.

In a bowl mix together the semolina, flour, sugar and salt.

Rub in the butter until completely blended. There should be no bits of butter anywhere.

Mix the rose water, vanilla extract and water together. Add to the dough. Work together with your hands.

Staying in the bowl, knead the dough a little to bring it into a smooth mass. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting we can make the filling. In a food processor grind the pistachios and cashews until small and a bit chunky.

Add the roughly chopped apricots and pulse until finely chopped.

Add the spices, rose water and a teaspoon of the water. Pulse a few times. If it doesn’t come together into a paste add another teaspoon of water and pulse again. It should just stick together when you squeeze it. If it’s too soft it will smush around too much when you form the cookies.

Once the dough is rested heat the oven to 180C (350F). Now for the patient zen part. Take your time.

Using a teaspoon divide the dough into around 24 small balls. Each ball should be about 2 teaspoons of dough. The small OXO Good Grips cookie scoop is the right size. Keep them covered with the plastic wrap while you work or they will dry out.

Using a teaspoon divide the filling into 24 small balls. Each ball of filling should be 1 teaspoon.

Take each ball of dough and press it out into an approximately 6 cm circle.

Form a little cup using your fingers and the palm of your other hand.

Pop a ball of filling inside.

Join the edges over the top. Slowly ease the dough around until the hole closes over.

The join will be the bottom of the cookie. Turn the balls over and place onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper.

As you are forming the cookies, use a little water on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking and to ease the dough around. Keep going until all the cookies are made. As you get through the cookies the dough will be a bit drier. If there are any cracks on the outside after they are shaped, dip a finger in a little cold water and smooth the top.

You can bake them as is or press a pattern into the top using the bottom of a glass or a fork. If you want to decorate it is easier to press the pattern in as you go as the cookies will dry a little while they wait on the cookie sheet and can crack a bit.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden on top. They will just start to colour and they’re ready.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are cold dust with icing sugar to server.

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Apricot + Pistachio Ma'amoul


Prep Time : 15 + 60 mins | Cook Time : 25 mins | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Fiddly | Makes : 24 small cookies

Sweet nutty filling wrapped in fragrant shortbread – a twist on a classic middle-eastern treat.

Ingredients:

For the shortbread

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (125 grams) fine semolina
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (85 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 6 + 1/2 tablespoons (90 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the filling

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (50 grams) raw pistachio kernels
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) raw cashews
  • 5-6 medium (50 grams) dried apricots
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 2-3 teaspoons water
  • icing sugar, for dusting

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Food processor
  • Cookie sheet lined with baking paper

Directions:

In a bowl mix together the semolina, flour, sugar and salt.

 

Rub in the butter until completely blended. There should be no bits of butter anywhere.

 

Mix the rose water, vanilla extract and water together. Add to the dough. Work together with your hands.

 

Staying in the bowl, knead the dough a little to bring it into a smooth mass. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

 

While the dough is resting we can make the filling. In a food processor grind the pistachios and cashews until small and a bit chunky.

 

Add the roughly chopped apricots and pulse until finely chopped.

 

Add the spices, rose water and a teaspoon of the water. Pulse a few times. If it doesn’t come together into a paste add another teaspoon of water and pulse again. It should just stick together when you squeeze it. If it’s too soft it will smush around too much when you form the cookies.

Once the dough is rested heat the oven to 180C (350F). Now for the patient zen part. Take your time.

Using a teaspoon divide the dough into around 24 small balls. Each ball should be about 2 teaspoons of dough. The small OXO Good Grips cookie scoop is the right size. Keep them covered with the plastic wrap while you work or they will dry out.

Using a teaspoon divide the filling into 24 small balls. Each ball of filling should be 1 teaspoon.

Take each ball of dough and press it out into an approximately 6 cm circle. Form a little cup using your fingers and the palm of your other hand. Pop a ball of filling inside. Join the edges over the top.

The join will be the bottom of the cookie. Turn the balls over and place onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper.

As you are forming the cookies, use a little water on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking and to ease the dough around. Keep going until all the cookies are made. As you get through the cookies the dough will be a bit drier. If there are any cracks on the outside after they are shaped, dip a finger in a little cold water and smooth the top.

You can bake them as is or press a pattern into the top using the bottom of a glass or a fork. If you want to decorate it is easier to press the pattern in as you go as the cookies will dry a little while they wait on the cookie sheet and can crack a bit.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden on top. They will just start to colour and they’re ready.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are cold dust with icing sugar to serve.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Be careful to keep the dough covered as you work, and don’t be afraid to keep dabbing water on your hands to keep the dough soft.

 – These cookies keep well for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature – 

Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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8 thoughts on “Apricot + Pistachio Ma’amoul

    • I am getting faster at making them so a small batch is less of a commitment! I found date ones a little too sweet for me and apricots were perfect 😀

      Like

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