Gluten-free Ma’amoul Cookies

Introducing this Middle-Eastern holiday cookie! Popular during the holiday seasons all over in the Middle East, the Ma’amoul cookies are also known as the Holiday Cookies. Traditionally made with a combination of semolina and all-purpose flour, then filled with dates, pistachios, walnuts or a combination of nuts. These cookies also come in different shapes and sizes, which is actually an indication of what filling is inside; round-shaped for date filling and oval-shaped for a nut filling. Make these at home and pop them into a festive jar for the perfect Christmas stocking filler. This is a gluten-free version of the Ma’amoul cookie, a versatile tea-time treat or road trip snack on the way to the beach. 

Serves: 20 – 24 small cookies
Prepping time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 

DOUGH

DATE FILLING

METHOD: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Soak the dates in boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredient for the dough together. Add in the melted ghee/coconut oil until GF-Ma'amoul-Cookies3combined. Cover and place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the water from the dates and add to a blender along. Then add all of the DATE FILLING ingredients – except for the walnuts. Blend until smooth, then add walnuts and pulse until the walnuts are crushed into smaller pieces.
  5. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and roll out 1 tablespoon sized-dough balls, or about 17g each, for a more consistent size.
  6. Form a dough ball and flatten in between palms of your hands
  7. Place the dough ball on parchment paper and add 1 tsp of the date filling in the centre of the cookie dough.
  8. Curl the edges in to cover the filling, and form a ball with your hand.
  9. Then press your Ma’amoul cookie pattern into the dough, or if you don’t have a cookie pattern use the bottom of crystal glass to make a pattern on top.
  10. Spread out evenly on the baking tray and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until light golden colour.
  11. Allow to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar or xylitol dusting sugar, and add to your cookie jar.

NOTES:

  • If you choose to use coconut oil, the cookies might not hold its pattern as nicely as with the ghee. The texture with the coconut oil is more of a crunchy crumble cookie and more of a soft crumble when made with ghee.
  • You can make your own ghee (clarified butter): slowly heat up butter in a saucepan over the stovetop, keep on stirring to prevent the butter from browning. After 5– 7 minutes you’ll see that a white ‘foam’ layer (the milk solids) form on top of the butter. Take the saucepan off the stovetop and using a tablespoon scoop the foam layer off the butter. Place the saucepan back on the stovetop and repeat until the butter is clear. The clear butter is ghee (save the the white foam as a spread for your toast!).
  • Instead of walnuts you can use Pistachios or almonds. You can also omit the dates and use a combo of Pistachios, walnuts and honey for the filling.

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