Easy Maamoul Cookies

Easy Maamoul Recipe
I had been wanting to try to make these cookies to hand out to our Muslim friends for Ramadan for a few years.  Most of the very traditional recipes had a lot of ingredients and items was not sure what would do after utilizing once.  I was pretty elated when found this recipe.  Now I'll invest in one of those Maamoul molds as this was probably one of the most easy cookies ever made from scratch.
Maamoul is traditionally a date stuffed cookie.  However with this base recipe for the dough, you can fill them with whatever your hearts desire.  I tested a few with some raspberry filling and my other half loved them.
1/2 pound pitted soft dates.
2 tablespoons of water
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest , or rosewater
2 cups of all purpose flower
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar and put aside later for dusting
Pinch of salt
Stick and a half of butter
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup of milk
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
To make the filling puree the ingredients in a food processor until blended.   It does not have to be pureed.  Just so all the flavors mesh.  Again this cookie can be filled with whatever you desire.  But for Ramadan it has to be dates.
Place all your dough ingredients into a bowl and mix.  I utilized a basic hand mixer.  When done separate and form into 20 separate equal sized balls. 
Unless you have a Maamoul mold, press a ball flat in your hand and place a spoonful of the filling in the middle.  Bring the edges of the dough up around the filling.  Pinch it and gently roll the ball to make it smooth and then place on a parchment lined cookie sheet flattening it just a bit.  With a mold you will not have to worry about that last step as you would just pull it out of the mold and place.  It is up to you if you would like to make a design on the cookie if you do not have a mold. 
Bake the cookies for 25-30 minutes.  The tops are very lightly golden if that but the bottoms start to golden.  Dust with powder sugar when you pull out of the oven and set to cool. 


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