Ma’moul brings back fond memories for some people, some of which are none other than my husband and dad’s. Stirring up memories of hot sweaty weather, exams, classes, sitting under palm trees in an attempt to cool off while munching on tasty date biscuits -ma’moul-. They (my hubby an dad) both attended uni at Saudi Arabia, at different times of course! My dad being there longer than my hubby. He stayed and studied there for
18 years. In the process learning their language, culture and the best part food! Well I guess my mum learn’t most of the food part whilst my dad did the eating and tasting. I don’t remember much except for the occasional flash backs which consist of me saying ‘ahhhhh i remember that!’. Sadly that is all, as my dad completed his PhD when I was 7 and we returned back to my parents homeland, Fiji. But but but (that is a lot of buts in one sentence) my mum brought back with her the rich culinary experience of Saudi food. I may be misleading you here into thinking this recipe comes from an experienced (mums) pair of hands, sorry to have to break the news but it actually comes from my pair of hands. As much as my dad’s a ma’moul fan, my mum isn’t.
It took me a few tries before I perfected the dough. And man when I did, we couldn’t stop eating them off the wire rack, never giving the biscuits time to actually cool off completely. Just as a side note they taste really delicious warm!
Right lets get started with the process:
The date filling is really easy, all you have to do is steam dates till they go soft and mushy to the touch. Remove the pits and mash the dates up together, add 1/4 teaspoon melted butter and mix really well.
We begin with creaming the butter, just the butter till its pale and creamy. Add the sugar and beat till it’s nicely incorporated and creamy,
The dough should be refrigerated for at least an hour, if your short on time, half an hour would do. The dough may be hard to work with at the beginning but the heat from your hands will make it easier.
I don’t have a ma’moul mould, so I make my biscuits look pretty by pinching the sides with these tiny gold clippers given to me by my mum’s Moroccan friend.
So taking a tablespoon of dough form a hole in the middle of it, place 1/4 teaspoon date mixture, close it, remove from the tablespoon. You can keep it as it is, or you can shape it to your liking.
Now the best part —-baking—-
- 150g butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp milk
- 2 cups dates (pits removed)
- 1/4 tsp melted butter
- Steam the dates till soft and mushy, mash it up, add the melted butter and give it a good mix.
- Now cream the butter for at least 6 minutes, or until it turns pale and creamy. Add the sugar and continue to beat for another few minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and shape into a dough. Wrap in cling and place in the fridge for half an hour to an hour.
- This takes a bit of time, so after you have filled the baking try once then heat the oven up to 180 degrees. So taking a tablespoon of dough form a hole in the middle of it, place 1/4 teaspoon date mixture, close it, remove from the tablespoon. You can keep it as it is, or you can shape it to your liking.
- Bake till golden brown on the top and bottom. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before storing in an air tight container for up to a week.
- Date mixture will be leftover, just store it in the fridge in an air tight container infinitely.