Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maamoul: Stuffed Date-Orange Cookies

How do you pronounce “maamoul”? I have absolutely no idea. I figure that’s as good a reason to bake a cookie as any. I’m sure no one would notice if you just produce an “m” sound and then casually trail off. (Cultural ignorance!)

Still, it must sound pretty fancy when you introduce these cookies to acquaintances at social gatherings. I can see it now…

‘Jan made chocolate chip cookies – let’s give Jan a hand, shall we! Come on mutual acquaintances!’ your friend Bruce says because he talks like that. He also calls people dears. He’s that guy.

‘Three cheers for Jan!’ Susan adds.

But you hate Susan and you hate chocolate chip cookies. And you really hate Jan. And Bruce. Whose acquaintances are these anyways?
That’s when you step forward, Tupperware chock full of Ma..m…l, with a frightening grin.

‘I made stuffed Date-Orange cookies.”

The room goes silent. Chewed chocolate chip cookies are spit into napkins. Acquaintances, mid pat-on-the-backs for Jan, stop abruptly. Someone slaps Jan. AND SCENE.

At least that’s how I imagine it. You probably should just call them Stuffed Date-Orange cookies is what I’m saying.

On to the baking!!
First off, find the recipe HERE and follow my every move.

This recipe uses a food processor and food processor only. I thought that was odd but hey, I can’t even pronounce the name of the cookie so who am I to judge? I put my judging cap on anyways – of course I am to judge, I’m captain judgment – and stuffed the dates and crap into the mixer. Hey PS dates are super sticky. These dates are sticky like if I got sticky date goo (i.e. this filling) stuck in my hair, well I’d probably have to use bubble gum to get it out. It’s that serious.

The greatest part about the food processing (it had so many great parts) was that the dates were so sticky that the food processor started making this purring sound. It purred hard then it purred soft then it stopped purring all together. And pureeing. After much persuading, it tried again and succeeded. Yay!

It looked like toxic waste sludge. Yum!

The other greatest part about the food processing (see, so many parts!) was that my food processor is only a 4-cup food processor. I’m not some fat cat fluent in corporate mumbo jumbo who goes out buying ritzy food processors that can fit more than a softball. Because the economy.

This mainly came into play in the second part of the recipe when I was supposed to combine all the dough ingredients into the 4-cup food processor. Hilarious! It didn’t work.

I wish some lady who claims she's been around the block a few times was around to give a helpful suggestion...

My mom, after telling me she’s been around the block a few times (mooOOOOoooom) suggested I take my newfound cutting in butter skill (life’s a learning rollercoaster kids) and there was success.

I like the no dough chilling time about this dough. I found that it even helped to keep handling this dough after I made the little balls so I could make it a little softer and less likely to crack when it was time to pinch around the filling and seal the cookie. I still had a bit of trouble when it came to this part, however, because the filling was just so sticky. I felt like the recipe called for me to be part octopus and use my eight clean and tentacled hands to craft the little balls. It was seriously hard with my two, pathetic human hands. It just one of those times when you wish you had a helper monkey. You know, like every second of every day.

While not picture perfect, these cookies still came out super yummy. They crumble really nicely in your mouth and are just buttery enough without being overpowering. The filling is almost a little spicy in its fruitiness thanks to the crystallized ginger. And thank heaven for powdered sugar clumping – I mean dusting.
Plus, these cookies make it okay to slap your acquaintance Jan in the face. Amateur.


TASTE: 4.5/5 > really yummy but could have used a little something still. Not sure what that something is.

EASE: 4/5 > not too hard to make really. The only thing that was hard to deal with was the stickiness of the dates. SO STICKY.

FILTH OF KITCHEN: 2/5 > I managed to keep it somewhat clean with this recipe. I think not having to roll out dough helps immensely. I’m pretty sure there’s a good amount of powdered sugar in my hair, however.

DID THE DOG EAT IT: He came. He saw. He was genuinely uninterested and stared at me with a puzzled look. I guess his palate just really isn’t up to snuff. (I’ll have you know, the IMPRESS-O-METER just tipped its hat to me, said ‘Good day, madam,’ and skyrocketed through the roof.)

IMPRESS-O-METER: 5/5 > Jan got slapped in the face.

"what's a palate?"


  1. Why is this dog wearing a coat in the house?

  2. he gets very cold and super pathetic. plus he thinks he looks good in it and it gives him self esteem (I'm actually not even kidding. Weird dog)

  3. Because he is THE FRANK, mini-pin extraordinary, and fashion-lover. And cookie critic.