THE ORIGINAL MAMOOL.
A golden recipe that traces back to my roots in Palestine. A recipe that I was given the permission to have and share. One that creates something legendary! This original mamool recipe has been passed down through generations and it is by far the most magnificent mamool I’ve ever tasted - and I’ve tasted plenty. The perfection between the butter and the sugar to the crispy edges and the sweet and crunchy filling — I am honored and certainly proud to give you this recipe to try for yourself for this upcoming Eid!
Prep: 1.5 h • Preheat: 350° • Bake: 13-16 m • Yields: 70+
*There are 145 calories in each Mamool containing walnut.*
*There are 145 calories in each Mamool containing walnut.*
SOFT BUT CRISPY.
This recipe is the perfect mix to give you soft yet crispy Mamool. I’ve done this recipe several times to perfect it and it comes out beautifully every single time! I’m so excited for you all to try it.
BAKING DETAILS ARE CRITICAL.
Never leave the oven’s sight while baking the Mamool! It can go from golden brown to black in seconds. Also make sure that the oven has completely preheated before baking. Depending on your oven, it shouldn’t take longer than 12-13 minutes to golden the bottoms of the Mamool. Then, you’ll put it in the broiler for a minute or until the tops are slightly golden. Allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before garnishing with powdered sugar, that way it won’t melt from the heat of the Mamool. I like to remove my Mamool from the pan immediately and onto a wire rack so that they don’t burn at the bottom from the super hot pan. If you don’t have one, remove and place on a serving platter without layering them.
CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE.
I had the pleasure of learning this lovely and original recipe from my 3amto Nasreen. My aunt is the aunt that makes all the sweets back home. Everyone in the village knows her for her magical hands! I met her for the very first time this year and it was the best time. Growing up, I never went to Palestine and I never got the chance to meet any of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins. So my aunt coming to America was huge for me! But I could never forget all the times 3amto Nasreen would send these delicious Mamool with my dad or uncle whenever they’d come home from the blad. And honestly, I had no idea she was the aunt behind them until she arrived! All I could remember is eating one after another and that they were the best I’ve ever eaten! So when I found out she was the aunt behind the Mamool, I told her she cannot leave this country without her teaching me her golden recipe! And so here it is.
PERFECTING THE RECIPE.
When my aunt was teaching me how to make her mamool, it was quite hard to take notes since she just eyed everything. She would use her expertise and many, many years of baking when making practically anything! So, taking notes as well as I could, I practiced this recipe four times to make sure I had it perfect. I’m so proud of it!
For the Mamool:
RULE OF THUMB:
For the filling:
- 4.5 cups fine semolina
- 1 cup flour
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1.5 tsp cookie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups ghee
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1.5 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tbsp yeast + 1 tsp sugar + 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 to 1 cup warm water
RULE OF THUMB:
- In order to make any Mamool recipe work, you must have 2 cups of fat (butter, ghee, and vegetable oil) per 4.5 cups semolina.
- You must also have 1.5 cups powdered sugar per 4.5 cups semolina.
For the filling:
- 2 tbsp leftover butter mixture from the dough preparations
- 2-4 cups walnuts
- 2 packs of dates
- 1 heaping spoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup corn oil
- In a saucepan on medium-low heat, melt together the corn oil, butter, and ghee. Occasionally stir it until it is fully melted and combined. Add the vanilla extract and turmeric, whisking in. Allow it to heat for a few more minutes. Set aside to slightly cool.
- In a large bowl, pour the semolina, flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cookie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Combine all the ingredients with clean hands for a few minutes.
- Pour the butter mixture into a measuring cup and measure 2 cups of it (you can save the rest in case you feel you need to add more and for the walnut mixture later). Slowly pour half the butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix the butter into the dry ingredients using your hands and by pressing it between your hands, rubbing back and forth. Do this for a couple minutes until you need to add a little more of the butter mixture at a time using the same hand motions until it’s fully combined. This dough should almost feel like wet sand. When you are done, you could taste test the mixture to ensure the dough is spot on before the next step, or if you’d like to add more of anything.
- In a measuring cup, add the yeast and sugar. Then, pour 1/4 cup warm water over it and whisk it until it becomes bubbly and milky. Then, allow it to activate for 5-10 minutes. Slowly pour the yeast in the bowl while mixing it into the dough with your hands, the same way as before. Do this a few times until it is fully combined.
- Begin adding water to the dough by starting with only a half cup. Mix it in well with your hands until it becomes a little more dry. You should use a kneading motion. Add another 1/4 cup and do the same thing until you get a softer dough mixture that’s not so dry and crumbly. If the dough doesn’t seem as dry, then you can stop with the water. If it’s a little too dry still, only add up to another 1/4 cup after this step. So in total, you should only need up to 1 whole cup of water (excluding the water with the yeast). Use your best judgment with the texture of the dough.
- Gently pat down the dough enough to just flatten it evenly across. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave it on the counter overnight, or for at least 1-2 hours. When it’s done resting, if you find that there is excess butter on top or swooshing around, you could dump the extra butter or save it aside. You could also use a paper towel to dab on the excess oil all around the dough. Knead the dough for a minute before molding. If you find that it’s still too oily for some reason, knead in a tiny bit (2-4 tbsp) of flour and semolina to dry it up a bit, then let rest for another 10 minutes.
- After the dough rested, begin shaping the dough into balls that are about 1 inch in diameter. Do this until you finish shaping the rest of the dough into balls. This is where a team of three would be helpful for different stations: Shaping the balls, filling the balls, and molding the balls. And maybe even one more person to bake the Mamool and stay by the oven!
- To make a well in the dough ball, simply push your thumb in the center of it until you reach the other side. Then, begin pinching around the edges until you have a nice-sized well (be careful not to make the edges too thin or too thick. Make it as thin as possible without tearing). It should look like a mini bowl. It’s okay if the dough isn’t perfectly holding together. As long as you can get the job done! Now, hold it in one hand, then pour a tbsp of the filling — nut or dates — and gently close the edges by pulling them upward and pinching it closed at the top. Then, smooth out the ball in your hands, making sure that the filling is not showing. Set aside and repeat for each ball.
- To mold the ball, simply place it in whatever Mamool mold you prefer (I like the old-fashioned wood ones. They’re very strong)! Press down on the dough gently and make sure that it’s evenly flat. Also make sure there isn’t any dough outside of the mold’s edges. After being pressed into the mold, turn the mold, and tap it down a few times on wax paper or a clean towel until it comes out lookin’ all pretty. Do this until you are done! It may take a while! Lol.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Make sure the oven is fully heated before baking. Set as many Mamool as you can in whatever size baking pan you’re using (don’t forget nonstick spray!) — just make sure they aren’t touching. I like to keep at least an inch between them. Bake for about 12-13 minutes, or until they’re golden on the bottom edges but not too brown! Then, put them in the broiler for a minute or two until the tops are golden just a bit. MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THEM WHILE IN THE BROILER! Do this until they are all baked. It may take a lot of trays.
- Allow the Mamool to cool down for at least 20 minutes or so before sifting powdered sugar over them. You don’t want the powdered sugar to melt if they are still too warm!
- In a large saucepan, pour a couple tbsp of the butter mixture and heat for a couple minutes. Toss in the walnuts and sauté for only a few minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn. Then, toss them into a food processor or blender to pulse a few times until they’re chopped, or you can put them in a large ziplock bag and break them down with a rolling pin — whatever gets the job done. Make sure you don’t grind them down to dust! Leave them in tiny pieces.
- Place the walnuts in a bowl and add a heaping spoon of cinnamon and a few heaping spoons of regular sugar, and combine. Taste the mixture to adjust the cinnamon and sugar to your liking. You may need to add a lot more! I just gave you where to start. I like the filling to be extra sweet, so I add plenty of sugar and cinnamon. Just keep adding a little of cinnamon and sugar at a time and taste test in between! Taste testing is everything.
- Place all the packages of dates in a large bowl.
- Add the heaping spoon of cinnamon.
- Add 1/4 cup corn oil.
- Mix well with your hands until fully combined.
- Taste to adjust anything.
- Roll into 1 inch or less balls.