What Are Mamoul Cookies?
Mamoul are Middle Eastern cookies made from semolina dough and filled with dates or nuts then garnished with powdered sugar. These popular and healthy trees are loved by adults as well as children. They come in different tastes, shapes, and sizes.
There are three main versions, depending on the filling used. The most popular filling is dates. Most people who bake these cookies at home use a date filling because it is the easiest to handle. The dates paste can be bought readymade and used directly as is. Pistachios and walnuts fillings are also popular and very well desired. Most Mamoul found in the market is usually of one of these three versions. Some people got innovative and started filling them with figs or apricots, but these fillings did not become popular as most people stayed loyal to the three original ones: Dates, pistachios, and walnuts.
Mamoul usually has either a round shape or an elongated oval shape. Each piece is molded using a wooden mold in order to give it a perfect shape, but they can be molded by hand too. When a wooden mold is used, all pieces would look the same and would be of the same size, making an assortment of these cookies look more professional and more appetizing. The round shaped ones take the form of a dome with either a flat top or a pointing top. It is customary to shape each version, depending on its filing type, into a preset form in order to differentiate between them. This is often the only way to differentiate between the versions because the semolina crust completely encloses the filling and it would not be possible to find out the content of each cookie except its shape in the case where an asserted arrangement is made.
These Middle Eastern cookies come in different sizes and each size is intended for a different use or occasion. Large size pieces are often served as dessert. When offering one type of Mamoul, it is a good idea to offer large size pieces so that people will not need to make several trips to the dessert table. When offering an assorted arrangement, however, it is best to offer medium size pieces so that people can pick a piece of each type. The large size pieces can be fulfilling and a person may not be able to eat a second one. Small size pieces are best when offered for kids just to satisfy their sweet tooth. They are also great when someone wants to satisfies his desire for a sweet confection without consuming many calories.
Mamoul is made from semolina dough, in contrast to most other Middle Eastern sweets which are made from flour dough. Its dough is almost similar to flour dough except that the flour is substituted by semolina. This makes it very delicious and it tends to break easily. Thus, it needs to be handled with care if shipped or transported over long distances.
Mamoul cookies are reliably easy to bake at home than many other Arabic sweets. Baking them at home can also be a very fun project. Most steps are easy to handle, which makes it easy to involve kids along the way. The most fun part is usually the molding step when each piece is given a desired shape. This can get children exposed to different ingredients that may not get involved with very often like semolina, date, pistachios, and walnuts.
When to Offer Mamoul
These cookies are most popular as desserts. They can be offered in any occasion when dessert is served. They can also be served as snacks, especially when they are made into a small size. They are best offered as an arrangement that contains all the major filling versions. These types of arrangements are most offered during celebration and holidays.