Date Ma’amouls
Serves: 24-30
Delicious date filled shortbread cookies, adapted from Claudia Roden
  • 3 cups/430g plain/all purpose flour
  • 2 sticks/226g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom/rose water
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • ready made date paste (or can make your own)
  1. If you are going to make your own date paste, cut 1 pound of pitted dates into pieces and add to a saucepan with ½ cup/118mL of water.
  2. Cook over low heat, stirring, until they turn into a soft paste.
  3. Let it cool.
  4. Alternatively, you can use a ready made paste like I did.
  5. I made my life simpler by making the dough in a food processor, but you can easily do it by hand.
  6. Put the flour and butter into a bowl of a food processor and pulse until the butter is mixed into the flour.
  7. Add the orange blossom or rose water and 3 tablespoons of milk.
  8. Pulse until the dough comes together.
  9. If it feels dry, add milk, a tablespoon at a time (mine took 4 tablespoons) until the dough comes together into a nice soft dough.
  10. I used a 1 ounce/28g cookie scoop to scoop out about 22 balls.
  11. If you make the balls smaller, like the size of a walnut, you can get about 40 (according to Claudia, but I don't see how that's possible)
  12. The most I think you can get, to get good size ma'maouls is about 24-30.
  13. After making the balls, take one ball and hollow it out with your thumb and work into a cone or pot shape.
  14. Fill the hole with a small ball of date paste and bring the dough up and over the filling, sealing it.
  15. Roll into a ball and put aside to shape.
  16. Repeat with the rest of the balls.
  17. If you are free forming them, flatten slightly and prick with the tines of the fork to make a pattern.
  18. If you have moulds, then press them into a well floured mould and whack them out.
  19. Bake in a preheated 325℉/165℃ oven for 20-25 minutes.
  20. Do not let them brown or else they will taste terrible.
  21. They will look uncooked but on cooling they will firm up.
  22. When cool, dust them with powdered sugar and store in an air tight container.
Recipe by Coffee and Crumpets at