Tuesday, September 22, 2009


As this year, both the Eid Ul-Fitr festival (marking the end of the Ramadan) and Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) coincide (20th and 19th of September), I thought that it'd be a good idea if I offered a recipe that brings us back to the time when both Muslim and Jewish people cohabited in harmony and were close...

So after a lot of thinking and some researching, I came to the conclusion that the cookie which would be the best symbol of peace, friendship, respect and tolerance is the Middle Eastern shortbread pastry known under the name of "Ma'amoul" (meaning "filled cookie" in Arabic).

Not only is it adored in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and other Levantine countries, but it also very popular amid Arab Christians as well as amid the Lebanese and Egyptian (Sepharadic) Jewish communities.

I am organizing an event called "Pastries For Peace" (thanks Kiriel for the idea). Anybody can participate. The roundup will take place on the 7th of December 2009 and the deadline is the 1st of December 2009. Just send your links to grandchampatgmxdotch.

J'organise un jeu qui s'appel "Pastries For Peace (Pâtisseries Pour La Paix)" et qui est ouvert à tous. Toutes vos participations seront visible dès le 7 décembre 2009 et le délai de participation est fixé au 1er décembre 2009. Envoyez tous vos lien à grandchampatgmxdotch.

Choosing this recipe also meant that the baker I am was going to get challenged as I had never made "Ma'amouls" before and had always been intimidated by Middle Eastern pastries, although I had been dying to experiment with those delicacies since a very long time. I always chickened out because they seemed so complicated to produce. I know, stupid me, as usual...

Anyway, with my pristine tabi (woo
den mould) desperately waiting to get used, I could not skip the opportunity to finally jump in the cold water and test my baking skills on a sweet treat which is so different from what we know in the Western world!

Fortunately for me, this incursion into the art of making pastries the Arabic way turned out extremely well. My creations looked not too bad and were mouthwateringly good!

Those "Ma'amouls" are very unusual, refined and unique in aesthetics, flavor and composition. Not only are they very pretty, but they also taste like heaven. With their crisp flaky pastry and soft filling, those nutty, not overly sweet and delightfully fragrant cookies will conquer you instantly.

Eid Moubarak!
Shana Tova!

~ Walnut Ma'amoul ~
Recipe by Camille at "Cakes In The City" (France) and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Makes about 50 small ma'amouls.

Ingredients for the "Pastry":

500g Fine semolina (or 400g fine semolina and 100g flour)
30g Powder sugar
1 Pinch Salt
1 Tsp Baking powder
250g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
ml Milk
60ml Orange blossom water
Ingredients for the "Filling":
150g Walnuts
The zest of one organic orange
2-3 Tbs Powder sugar
2-3 Tbs Water
Powder sugar for dusting

Method for the "Pastry":
1. In a big bowl, mix together the semolina (and flour if you use any), sugar, salt and baking powder.
2. Add the butter and
rub between the fingers until the mixture is flaky.
3. Add the milk and orange blossom water and lightly k
nead the dough for 1 minute.
4. Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap in plastic foil and p
ut in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Method for the "Filling":
5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: put all the ingredients in a mixer and blend until it ressembles a paste.
6. Preheat the oven to 160°C (° F).
7. Take a small portion of dough and shape it into a ball. Make a hole with your thumb.
8. Fill the hole with the walnut paste and close the ball. Process in t
he same way with the remaining pastry and filling.
9. With the help of a floured tabi (decorative mould) shape the balls into ma'amoul cookies by packing each ball into the mould and then tapping the cookies out onto the work area with a sharp firm hit to the top of the mold.
Transfer cookies to baking sheet with a spatula and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes (stop baking as soon as the sides are starting to get golden brown).
11. Let cool on a rack.
12. Cover the cookies with powdered sugar.

I found two videos for you (video 1 & video 2) that might help you. Check them out if in doubt when it comes to shaping those ma'amoul!

Maamoul are very delicate cookies which you have to manipulate wih care. Let them cool completely before manipulating them.
If you don't have a tabi, then just shape the balls as indicated, put them on the baking sheet and flatten them slightly and decorate the cookies with tweezers.

Serving suggestions:
Eat those cookies with mint tea or Arabic coffee.


~ Ma'amouls Aux Noix ~
Recette par Camille de "Cakes In The City" (France) et adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums.

Pour environ 50 petits ma'amouls.

Ingrédients pour la "Pâte":

500g de Semoule fine (ou 400g de semoule fine et 100g de farine)
30g de Sucre en poudre
1 Pincée de sel
1 CC de Levure chimique
250g de Beurre, à température ambiante
60ml de Lait
60ml d'Eau de fleur d'oranger
Ingrédients pour la "Farce":
150g de noix de Grenoble
Le zeste râpé d'une orange bio
2-3 CS de Sucre en poudre
2-3 CS d'Eau
Sucre glace, pour la finition

Méthode pour la "Pâte":
1. Dans un grand saladier mélanger la semoule (et la farine si vous en utilisez), le sucre, le sel et la levure.
2. Ajouter le beurre ramolli et travailler du bout des doigts pour obtenir un mélange sablé.
3. Ajouter enfin le lait et l'eau de fleur d'oranger, puis pétrir la pâte pendant une minute.
4. Former une boule de pâte que vous laisserez re
poser pendant 1 heure au frigo, emballée dans un film plastique.
Méthode pour la "Farce":
5. Pendant ce temps, préparer la garniture: mettre tous les ingrédients de la garniture dans un mixer afin d'obtenir une masse collante et homogène.
6. Préchauffer le four à 160°C.
7. Prendre une petite portion de pâte, la rouler en boule et y creuser un trou en y enfonçant le pouce.
8. Remplir la cavité de
farce et refermer la boule. Poursuivre jusqu'à épuisement des ingrédients.
9. Façonner chaque petite boule à l'aide d'un tabi (moule à ma'amouls/voir 3ième image depuis le haut) en l'enfonçant dans le creux du moule, puis en le tapant ensuite très énergiquement sur une planche à découper pour démouler le ma'amoul.
10. Disposer les biscuits sur une plaque à pâtisserie
recouverte de papier sulfurisé et faire cuire pendant 12 à 15 minutes (arrêter la cuisson quand les bords commencent à dorer).
11. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.
12. Saupoudrer de sucre glace avant de les servir.

J'ai trouvé 2 vidéos qui pourraient vous intéresser (video 1 & video 2). Jettez-y un coup d'oeil car elles sont très utiles afin de comprendre comment former un ma'amoul!
Les Maamouls sont des petites choses très friables, il faut donc les laisser refroidir complètement avant de les manipuler.
Si vous n'avez pas de Tabi, disposer simplement les boules de pâte sur une plaque de cuisson recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Les aplatir légèrement avec la paume de la main et les décorer à l'aide d'une pince de décoration.

Idée de présentation:
Servez ces biscuits avec un thé à la menthe ou un café arabe.


  1. That's a very pretty cake. I never had any desserts or cakes from the Middle east. Maybe I did but not yet this one.

  2. What a beautiful thought behind these delicate cookies Rosa. I do really wish we could buy peace in this world with cookies as gorgeous as these,and hope the dream comes true one day! I love the filling & your wooden mould...Awesome!

  3. very lovely cookies.....so petite & beautiful. Congrats for making that so well for the first time! Well done.

  4. A very beautiful and thoughtful gesture Rosa! Love the cookies and I think they turned out superb! Love them!

  5. Baking cookies for world peace! I can get behind that. What a delicious idea. :)

  6. I think we should start a movement; pastries for peace!! I am inspired and will try to invent something to contribute to the cause in the next few days.

  7. What beautiful cookies!! They look so delecate and mouth in your mouth good!

  8. Waouh! Rosa! :) Quelle belle recette et quelles superbes photos (comme toujours!)

    Merci pour ce très joli moment de pure gourmandise :)

    Je te souhaite une très jolie semaine!

    Bisous :)

  9. Lovely post Rosa and maamoul cookies look lovely! love your mould!

  10. ces gateaux sont SUPERBES ! les photos sont MAGNIFIQUES ! je reviendrai souvent me régaler les yeux....

  11. what a wonderful post. ANd, I do love those molds.

  12. Faudrait bien que je m'offre un moule à mamoul! Ma fille en raffole... ça vaut l'investissement!

  13. Ils sont superbes tes mamouls !

    Je ne connais pas la version aux noix, ici c'est plutot avec des dattes.

    Si tu veux des pinces (pas aussi belles que sur le lien) et de la
    pate de dattes, fais -moi signe !

  14. Ils sont magnifiques, bravo ! J'adore !

  15. I love Ma'amoul! :) Yours look particularly lovely :)

  16. mia cara Rosa, sono deliziosi, somigliano ai pasticcini che la mia collega marocchina ci ha appena portati a lavoro. Per cui ho un'idea della bontà di questo dolcetto!
    Un abbraccio grande!

  17. Great idea Rosa and beautiful cookies

  18. Ils sont superbes !
    La fleur d'oranger doit apporter une saveur sympa.

  19. How wonderful Rosa ! i love your tabi !! What I the requirments to partecipate to your event ? Baci

  20. Ces gateaux sont magnifiques, c'est sans doute un délice, bravo

  21. carrément magnifique ! bravo

  22. Melt in the mouth delicious mamouls.That's a very thoughtful event Rosa,would love to participate :)

  23. Beautiful and delicious-sounding cookies! And, I love your idea for Pastries for Peace. I hope I can think of something worthy to contribute.

  24. Ces gâteaux doivent etre très parfumés!

  25. J'en ai fais dernièrement avec des dattes, j'adore ce genre de gâteaux c'est divin !

  26. I thought that it'd be a good idea if I offered a recipe that brings us back to the time when both Muslim and Jewish people cohabited in harmony and were close... - more world leaders should read food blogs! Excellent post Rosa!

  27. Hi Rosa,
    I'm glad I found your blog through your comment in mine. I really enjoy cooking and will surely be visiting your yummy blog from now on.

  28. Rosa, really I think these look fantastic, Hubby's mother was from Liban and always made these, yours look spectacular,love them gloria

  29. ..c'est tout en douceur.. j'adorrre..

    ..bo mardi ma douce Rosa;)

    ~nancy xx

  30. I enjoyed this pastry once before and can see that its execution is beyond my abilities! Your photos look lovely and delicious as always.

  31. Not only they look wonderful but I really like the spirit of it. And I promise I'll try to make some "peace cake" sometime.

  32. Pastries for peace! Love this concept. In fact, I have a t-shirt I wear around the house that says 'Make Cookies Not War."

  33. What a nice person you are!
    It is very thoughtful of you...
    Believe it or not this walnut cookies ( we call it "gerebich" ) are one of my hometown's specialties. At the end of Ramadan, all the ladies come together and make this cookies in large quantities. Then, we serve them all of our guests during Ramadan Festival.
    I hope one day we all live in peace.
    Thank you.

  34. I'd definitely like to participate in your event and will start thinking about what to make. I love these - they look so beautiful and it'd be great to have them with mint tea in the afternoon as you suggested. Fantastic that you feel brave enough to try new things but then you are a daring baker!

  35. Absolutely delightful cookies. I always like Middle Eastern pastries as they are exotic and so fragrant. I'll do the best to participate on this "peace theme" event.

  36. Excellent idea, hope that it will be peace in that complex area. Really they're a dreamy pastry…..very well done :)

    All the best!


  37. wow...c'est magnifique, de bien belles petites bouchées très très gourmandes...et des photos à tomber comme toujours.

  38. These are gorgeous pastries! I will definitely be trying your recipe. I love the idea of your Pastries for Peace!

  39. I have at least one recipe for these in my collection that I've never made. I should really try! Yours turned out just wonderfully!

  40. I use to have a Lebanese woman and she made those. They are so delicious. They turned out so good.

  41. Bonsoir Rosa! Merci d'être passée me voir pour me souhaiter une bonne fête de l'Aïd, çà me touche beaucoup! Je trouve tes gâteaux parfaitement bien réussis! Ils doivent être très bon! Bravo!

  42. What a great idea Rosa. Count me in. Shana Tova. May this be a year of peace.


  43. These are so pretty - I've never seen any like this before.

  44. Je ne connaisait pas ce bon dessert. Merci de me le faire découvrir

    Bonne soirée


  45. These look heavenly! Very yummy with the filling!

  46. Rosa, these are so pretty! I've missed you!

  47. simplement merveilleux !!
    quel enchantement de venir chez toi !!!!

    bon ceci dis, je n'ai jamais trouvé de moule à ma'amouls !!! introuvable ici !!!

    as tu un tuyau ????

  48. Ca m'a l'air trop bon cette petite pâtisserie orientale !
    Je ne promets rien, mais j'essaierai de participer au jeu !

  49. En voilà une merveilleuse idée Rosa que cette chaîne de pâtisseries pour la paix! Tu commences très fort avec ces beaux biscuits. Où as-tu trouvé la cuillère en bois??

  50. J'adore tes p'tites bouchées!!!!
    J'aime beaucoup les biscuits à base de noix.
    Bises et belle journée!

  51. Delightful treats!!

    Lovely as a gift as well!!

  52. they look excelent, and the first time you tried them? amazing! i love that mould i want one!



  53. Ahhh ces fameux petits biscuits aux noux que j'aime tant, un vrai délice!

  54. Ooooh Rosa, I have bookmarked Ma'amouls ages ago but never made them I have stopped using butter. Maybe I'll make an exception during Christmas. Great idea for the event. Is it for any kind of pastries?

  55. What lovely cookies and a lovely thought. I love your little moulds.
    Hag Sameach

  56. Have never tried Middle East cookies. Yours are beauty!

  57. Tes maamouls donnent très envie, j'aime beaucoup cette pâtisserie !

  58. Ces petites bouchées sont très gourmandes et donnent envie d'être croquer !
    Bisous, Doria

  59. Wow rosa the Ma'amoul looks very delicious...perfect with a cup of tea ;)
    Gorgeous clicks.


  60. those cakes look so cute and pretty :)love the patries for peach one! cheers and eid moubarik to u 2 :)

  61. & Great event,would love to participate :D

  62. Love your thought behind making these cookies at this time ... thank you for expressing yourself so beautifully .. a very happy Rosh Hashanah to you, if you celebrate it! Food really does transcend all boundaries, doesn't it?? Gorgeous cookies ... I love mamouls .. have some store-bought date-filled ones on me right now. Your mamoul mould is SO cute - where did u get it??

  63. Those cookies look lovely, so elegant and light. Beautiful. I especially like the molds.


  64. maa mouls are beautiful & so is the mould. Lovely filling inside.

  65. Lovely words and lovely cookies, Rosa. Thank you.

  66. tout est magnifique, photos, cakes et surtout l'idee de "pastries for peace" !!! a ma facon, j'y participerai ! bises Rosa et a ++++

  67. tes maamouls sont super beaux!

  68. Wow, they look delicious and beautiful too!

  69. Your attention to detail in the smallest things is admirable. We take notes! :)

  70. Une vraie douceur pour les papilles;)xxx

  71. What a great idea! This looks mouthwatering!

  72. I love your little molds! The little cookies look so lovely!

  73. What a fabulous idea! And the cookies look delicious as well :)

    Btw have you heard about the 2nd Annual O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Contest at my blog and at Ms Adventures in Italy? You have until Sept 28th to come up with a fab O recipe...and there are prizes including signed copies of Gina DePalma's Dolce Italiano and Mario Batali's Molto Italiano :D

    If you can't participate, feel free to spread the word--there are prizes for that too!

  74. i love the domed top! what a unique cookie--the filling sounds completely outstanding! just lovely--here's to a peaceful year!

  75. Une petite gourmandise délicieuse !

  76. alors là je ne peux que craquer "nostalgique"....! s'il t'en reste je suis là..!lol

  77. Wow, those are some really amazing cookies, and I love your reasons behind making them! Beautiful on all fronts!

  78. Ils sont magnifiques, j'adore ces biscuits.

  79. Tes maamouls sont superbes et comme d'habitude les photos ultra pro !
    j'ai très envie de les faire il ne me reste qu'à trouver les moules

  80. These are so precious looking. Each is like a little gift with a surprise inside.

  81. What a great thought behind these gorgeous cookies! I sincerely hope we could make peace in this world with cookies! The wooden mould is very beautiful... What a terrific job, Rosa!



  82. Jusqu'à décembre merci cela me laisse un peu de temps. Encore une fois, tu nous gâtes avec ces gourmandises Rosa.

  83. J'en avais déjà gouté (mais jamais fait) je ne sais plus àquelle occasion. C'est délicieux! les tiens ont l'air succulents!

  84. Hi rosa!
    I was happy to find out this recipe at your blog-
    Ma'amoul is a well known cookie at my country and I make it a lot.
    Besides the wooden moulds, there's another traditional way of shaping the cookies that I usually use, and that's using a traditional tiny metal clip that pinches the dough from the outside , you can see it over here: http://forumsgallery.tapuz.co.il/ForumsGallery/galleryimages/21077189.jpg
    The most popular filling at our country is flavored dates paste.
    Your cookies look just great! Bravo for performing this challenge.

    It's funny because although I celebrate rosh hashana, I didn't know the eid ul fitr it been celebrating at the same day this year
    It's funny to find it out from a person out of my country…

    Anyway as a presenter of Israel, a country that desire for peace for so many years, I have to think of something for your "pastries for peace" project, it's a great idea!

    Take care,

    I also have these gorgeous napkins – isn't it from ikea?
    I guess there's something uniting us all anyway, hehe

  85. Superbes ! très tentante cette recette, j'aime tous les parfums et c'est si joli :)

  86. Those cookies look so light and airy and good! I like the cookie mold/shape.

  87. Ils sont parfaits. Figure toi que j'en ai fait la semaine dernière mais la recette ne paraitra que vendredi. Trop bon !

  88. your pastries made me hungry, and not to mention what an wonderful thought, would love to participate.

  89. Bonsoire cher Rosa.

    delicious looking Maamoul, and what a great cause. I am ready to bake cookies every day to bring peace, love and happiness to every house on this earth.

    How can I participate????

    p.s.: If you got the chance try my maamoul recipe and compare the two flavours .

  90. Great idea! I made an individual appeal with a post last year, I was new to blogging then, well I sure would like to participate. I have a post on ma'amoul already. Is it going to be that?

  91. Okay Rosa, I now found it but it seems that I forgot about it.

  92. Je ne sais vraiment pas quoi dire. Comment est-ce que j'ai pu rater une proposition pareille.
    Je viens d'en prendre connaissance en passant chez Ivy.
    Il est trop tard pour y participer.
    J'aurai pu au moins proposer mes feuilletés aux loukoums.
    Rosa, je suis désolée, je n'aurai jamais raté un gâteau pour la paix au Moyen-Orient.

  93. Very nice recipes. It's a shame that not may conributed.

    I think I misunderstood the event. Perhaps it needed a bit more explanation. Wasn't it supposed to contribute the idea of peace? Shared recipes by ethnic groups in conflict? A Greco-Turkish recipe would be a hit for example. Nevertheless, it was a great idea.


  94. Wow I am impressed!! ur maamoul absolutely fantastic!!!