Is time for Christmas baking again and Sam at Oh Nuts sent me some nuts for my baking this year. They came just in time for me to bake some Ma’amoul cookies for AFF – West Asia Month event. Ma’amoul is small shortbread pastries filled with nuts, dates or dried fruits. They are very popular in the Gulf countries especially on religions festival. The Muslims eat them at night during Ramadan, the Christians eat them during Easter and the Jewish communities eat them on Rosh Hashanah or Hanukkah. They may be in the shape of balls or domed usually decorated by hand or be made in special wooden molds. Since I don’t have any of the molds I just shape them using my tart mold.
Ingredients for the Pastry:
Adapted from Food Network with minor changes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Pinch fine salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick) – cut into cubes
2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil, such as canola or vegetable
1/4 cup milk
Some confectioner’ sugar for dusting
Ingredients for the Filling:
By My Kitchen Snippets
1 cup Pistachio
3/4 cup walnut
1 tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup honey
1. Preparing the filling. Put all the ingredients into the food processor and let it puree for 1 minute. Remove and roll it into 20-22 small balls and set it aside.
2. Put the flour, baking powder, the 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse 3 to 4 times to mix. Add the butter, oil, and milk pulsing until the dough just comes together. Take care not to overwork the dough; it will be slightly wet.
3. Remove dough from the processor, and roll into 20 - 22 equally sized balls. In the palm of your hand, press and pat each ball of dough into a 2 3/4-inch round.
4. Place the filling in the center of each round and draw the edges up and around the filling. Pinch the dough together to make a sealed ball, and then carefully roll the cookie between your palms to make a smooth round ball.
5. Presses the balls gently into Ma’amoul mold or tart mold ( then gently knock out the cookies) or just flatten the cookie slightly if you are not using any mold to shape it, then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the same with the remaining dough and filling.
6. Bake the cookies at 350 degree F until firm and slightly puffed, and the tops slight pale but the bottoms are just beginning to turn slightly golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
7. Let it cool completely before dusting it with confectioners’ sugar.
I am submitting this to Asian Food Fest West Asia Month hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish