Maamoul – Nut Filled Middle Eastern Cookies


maamoul pistachio filled lebanese cookies recipe

Remember a few weeks ago, when the Twinkie news broke out? People panicking thinking they would never get to eat a Twinkie, ever again? People even selling them on Ebay?? Food bloggers posting recipes on how to make them at home??

Well, we never quite got what all the commotion was about. Maybe  because we didn’t grow up here? Or maybe because we’ve never eaten one? I don’t know…

I’m not saying we grew up without any  treats around the house. Yes, we did have factory made, little snack cakes in Spain that we ate once in a while. But growing up in a Middle Eastern influenced household, let’s just say that our treats were a bit… “different”.

Our grandmother (probably one of the best bakers we’ve ever known) used to make the most amazing homemade treats, all from scratch. Over the years we’ve tried to get the recipes from her, but the thing is, she never, ever followed one.  “You have to feel the dough to know it has the right consistency”, she used to say. Well, that doesn’t really help when you’re thousands of miles away now, does it?

We really wanted to recreate her Maamul (nut and date filled semolina cookies), which we’ve always loved, but we weren’t sure where to start so… what did we do? Since we couldn’t fly all the way to Israel to see our grandmother, we stopped by the one place in town that could provide us with the authentic recipe: a Middle Eastern restaurant and grocery store called “Norma’s”. Probably the closest thing to  our mom’s (and grandmother’s) kitchen we can find around here. Run by this sweet, beautiful lady named Norma  and her son Elias, this place offers the most amazing, one hundred percent authentic Middle Eastern dishes, all made from scratch. Just like our mom used to make them.

maamoul pistachio filled lebanese cookies recipe

So we asked Norma if she would mind sharing some of her recipes with us and she very kindly did. And of course, we got the one we were so desperately looking for! We were even able to buy the Maamoul mold we needed to make these, right from her store! We were so excited!

We slightly modified the recipe she gave us to make it vegan, but the result was just as delicious.

Give them a try… and you might even forget about those Twinkie things 😉


maamoul pistachio filled lebanese cookies recipe


5.0 from 4 reviews
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Kosher / Middle Eastern
Serves: 18
  • 1⅓ cup semolina
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • ⅔ cup coconut oil at room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water ( we used Sadaf)
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, coarsely ground
  • 1½ tbsp agave nectar
  • 3 tsp orange blossom water
  • Confectioner's sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, combine semolina, flour, sugar and coconut oil. Mix well using your hands until the coconut oil is well incorporated ( it should look like course cornmeal at this point)
  3. Slowly add almond milk and orange blossom water and keep working with your hands until it forms a smooth dough. Set aside and let it rest for about 20-25 minutes
  4. In the meantime, prepare the filling: combine ground pistachios, agave and orange blossom water in a bowl and mix well
  5. Working with about a tablespoon of dough at a time, for 18 balls. Using your thumb press a hole in the center of each ball. Place about 1 teaspoon in the hole, close it up, and roll it into a ball again
  6. Press each filled ball gently into the maamul mold and bang it against the counter to release it
  7. Arrange the cookies into the lined baking sheet and bake at 350F for approximately 20 minutes, until golden brown
  8. Once cooled, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar


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maamoul pistachio filled lebanese cookies recipe




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15 Responses to Maamoul – Nut Filled Middle Eastern Cookies

  1. Sina @ thekosherspoon May 9, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    My grandmother makes the best sfinj (Moroccan soufganiyot), and she gives recipes exactly like yours does!

    On another note, my hisband’s aunt makes legendary maamul and we get some every time someone visits Israel.

  2. Rocky May 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    I have had the privilege of trying these and they are honestly delicious! They are buttery and nutty. When you bite into one your taste buds do a dance in your mouth. They have no chance against Twinkies 🙂

  3. Yosef - This American Bite May 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Very very pretty. Mamoul simple means filled, or stuffed. I have never seen the word used for a dessert but love savory “mamoullim” made with onions.

  4. Michelle May 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Worm this looks incredible! Really want to try to make these soon.

  5. Judee@ Gluten Free A-Z May 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    I’m really enjoying going through your recipes. My mother in law makes these cookies. Love the vegan version..
    Judee@ Gluten Free A-Z recently posted…Party Drinks for Hot WeatherMy Profile

    • Vicky & Ruth May 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      THanks so much Judee. We grew up eating these, they’re sooo good! Glad you like the vegan twist 🙂

  6. Jorge October 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Como me encantan estas galletas tan ricas. El sabor perfecta, y mas son vegan. Salud!

  7. Chantal November 13, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    Hello there!

    This recipe sounds beautiful! I was originally searching the internet for an italian type of fig pastry. I had a great recipe i cut from a magazine years ago but cannot find it! However, I do like the sound of your maamoul recipe and was wondering what ingredients I should change in order to make it “not vegan” 🙂 I hope you don’t mind! Your help would be great, Thanks x

    • Vicky & Ruth November 13, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      So glad you like our maamul recipe! To make it non vegan, all you have to do is substitute butter for the coconut oil and whole milk for the almond milk. You can also use honey instead of agave. Hope this helps… Let us know if you have any more questions. Enjoy 🙂

      • Chantal November 15, 2013 at 6:51 am #

        Thank you so much! I’ll be making these on Christmas Eve 🙂

  8. Monu Teena November 14, 2013 at 2:28 am #

    Delicious.. just love Maamoul ~ i have made some too 🙂 do visit my place when time permits Maamoul ~ date cookies that’s a recipe by my mom 🙂
    happy blogging do give me feedback!

  9. Susannah June 1, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    Hi! I was just wondering, does anyone know of a substitute I can use for the maamoul mold? I looked at a couple stores for one and couldn’t find it, and I really, really want to make these like… Right now xD So I’m too impatient to order one off the internet. So, anyone know of anything I might already have in the kitchen that might work?

    • Vicky & Ruth June 26, 2015 at 6:44 am #

      Hi Susannah,
      Sorry for the delayed response. Probably the best thing to do would be to fill the dough as indicated in the directions and just lightly flatten them with your hands. The design won’t be as pretty, it should work.

  10. Nicole @ Yumsome May 14, 2016 at 7:56 am #

    When I lived in Morocco, I used to buy delicious cookies just like these from the souk. At Eid al Adha, my neighbour made me some – wow! She was the best cookie maker ever!

    I’m definitely going to make some of these mamoul – thank you for the recipe!


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