As you near the house all you hear is a familiar sound. The BANG of the Ma’amoul mould being hit on the edge of the table. Yep, it must be nearly Easter and Mum and Dad are elbow deep in Ma’amoul biscuit dough. On one side there is a big bowl of date filling and on the other a bowl of crushed walnut and rose water. The smell of melted ghee wafts out the kitchen and invades your nostrils. Only a few more steps and you’ll be amid the organized chaos and within arms reach of this years batch of Ma’amoul.
And then you see them….
Mounds of lightly browned date or walnut filled biscuits, still slightly warm and definitely too good to just stand around and look at so you make a run for them. But no…. you’re forced back by the ‘DON”T YOU TOUCH THOSE’ yelled out in unison by both Mum and Dad…
I’d love to say that is a memory of our childhood but the truth is it happens still, every year.
These little gems are quite different to the Ma’amoul we wait for every Easter. My sister makes something very similar and I could sit and eat a whole plate of them with a cup of tea or coffee.
Let me tell you how I made Ma’amoul Swirls from this months The Cookbook Guru‘s beautiful book of choice, Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf.
For the filling you’ll need:-
200g fresh dates, pitted and chopped
4 Tblsp water
1 Tblsp castor sugar
1 Tblsp Kahlua (which I didn’t have so I used Dranbuie)
Melt the sugar in the water over a low heat then add the dates, stir well and cover. Leave for four or five minutes to soften then take off the heat and stir in the Kahlua. Leave to cool slightly then blitz in a food processor until smooth. Leave to cool.
For the Biscuit dough:-
270g plain flour
30g icing sugar
20ml olive oil
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar then add the milk and oil and work into a smooth dough.
On a floured bench, roll out the dough to a large rectangle, about 3mm thick, and spread the filling over the top evenly leaving a small margin on one of the long sides.
Pre heat the oven to 160oC. Slice the biscuit log on the diagonal about 1cm thick and place them on a baking paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then turn the heat down to 140oC and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.
The result…melt in the mouth biscuits. Absolutely delicious….
My sister’s version is rolled in sesame seeds. I’ll have to try that next time.