In the spirit of good sportsmanship, scientific advancement, and all around fun, I decided to make another batch of maamoul using a different recipe. I feel it is only fair as there are dozens of variations on this delectable treat and I've only begun to scratch the surface. I'm on a quest to find and create the best maamoul. Plus, I received a few comments from some Lebanese friends who were shocked that I used flour. (Also a few who wondered why I didn't use mahlab...)
Maamoul round 2!
This recipe is a modified combination of two (maybe more?) recipes from here and here. Why modify? Because I am a scientist. That's what I do. I modify things. For fun. For science! (Plus, I didn't have coarse semolina on hand... and, I love butter.)
Anyhow, I am happy to report that this recipe is much easier than the previous one I attempted. Less room to botch things up. (Now I understand why dem Lebanese were so shocked!) As for the taste... it was like biting into buttery shortbread with a slight nutty undertone. (Mahlab is subtle like that...) The verdict? They were both delicious, but I think I like this one better. It's easier. And a half notch tastier. Hurray for scientific experimentation and gastronomical alchemy!
Before introducing you to my new recipe though, and for some random fun, here are a few fun Easter/spring crafts that I love!
- A creative twist on the traditional Easter basket... no? (Also loving the other tutorials at the bottom of the post!)
- This plastic bottle owl from Craftberry Bush and featured on The Crafty Crow.
- These clear art stamps from Crafty Secrets
- I'm pretty sure that Easter Cookie Pots are the best way to gift cookies. Just imagine if you received one all done up like that!
*Note, as this recipe contains both cream of wheat and semolina, it is, unfortunately, not gluten free. :o(
5 1/2 cups fine semolina
1 1/2 cups cream of wheat
2 cups butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp mahlab
3/4 - 1 cup orange blossom water
2 1/2 cups walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp orange blossom water
Mix first 4 ingredients together. Add melted butter and combine well until mixture resembles a crummy dough. Add 1/2 cup of orange blossom water and knead dough well. Continue adding orange blossom water 1 Tbsp at a time until dough is sticky and cohesive. (As Bethany mentions, the dough should be sticky, but not stick to your hands.)
Set aside to rest for 3 hours. (This helps the soften the semolina and cream of wheat.) While waiting, prepare filling by dumping everything into your food processor and blending for a bit until it looks coarsely ground.
Knead dough briefly. Pinch off a small walnut sized piece of dough and flatten with palms. Place a generous spoon of filling in the middle and pinch the edges together to seal. Place ball in a lightly floured (or semolina-ed) maamoul mold and press well. Tap mold firmly on counter top or palm to release cookie.
Place on baking tray and bake at 400 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes. The colour should be pale gold, but not golden. Remove, let cool and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
FYI: Apparently these babies will keep up to one month outside of the refrigerator if well sealed! Bonus! (That might not be a problem though since they don't usually last that long. At least not in our house.) Happy eating!