Ma’mool Cookies

Preparation time: 1 hour plus resting time
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 40

Melt the butter in a large pan, then stir in the semolina, sugar, and mahleb. Push the mixture down into the pan, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand for at least 3 hours or overnight at room temperature. To make the date filling, put the dates in a microwave-proof bowl, add 1 tablespoon water, and cook on high for 2 minutes. Mash with a fork and add the spice. Roll the mixture into about 14 small balls. To make the walnut filling, put all the ingredients into a blender and process to fine crumbs. To make the pistachio filling, put the nuts and sugar into a blender and process to coarse crumbs. Tip into a bowl and stir in the rose water and orange flower water. Return the pan of semolina mixture to low heat for a few minutes to loosen, then tip the mixture into a bowl. Add the flour, yeast, rose water, and 2 tablespoons water. Knead the mixture in the bowl, adding 1-2 tablespoons more water if required, for about 15 minutes until a dough forms. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160 °c/Gas Mark 3· To make the ma’mool, take a handful of dough and dust with flour, then flatten into a patty. Put 1 tablespoon walnut filling, or 1 tablespoon pistachio filling, or 1 date ball in the middle of the patty, then wrap the dough around the filling. Roll in flour and press into a ma’mool mold. Tap the mold on the work surface to release the cookie and put it onto a baking sheet. If you don’t have the molds, use an individual gelatin (jelly) mold or cut a decorative shape with a ravioli cutter. Repeat the filling and shaping until all the dough and filling mixtures have been used. Bake for 30- 40 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.