Lebanese Date Pastries

Posted on April 18, 2012

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The official name for these is “Ma’amoul”; They are lebanese pastries used to celebrate holidays, no matter what your religion…

Muslims eat them during Ramadan, Arabic Christians during Easter, and nut filled versions are eaten by Jews during Purim. I usually don’t link to wiki articles, but this one is pithy and fascinating reminder of the way foods intersect times, places, cultures, religions.

8 oz dates, pitted, roughly chopped

1/4 cup water

8 oz plain flour

4 oz butter, chilled

2 tsp orange water or rose water (I used rose)

2 tbsp water

icing/powdered sugar

Sift flour into bowl and add diced butter, rub/cut butter into flour until it resembles small breadcrumbs (you know, the usual).

Combine rose water with 2 tbsp regular water, and sprinkle over the flour, then mix in using a small knife. Cover dough and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Combine dates and  1/4 c water in a small saucepan, cook over gentle heat until softened, then set aside.

Take spoonfuls of the dough and shape into rounds, making a small hollow with your finger. Then stuff a little of the date mixture in (don’t over-do it, they won’t close properly), and seal opening/reshape them.

Continue until the dough runs out.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover loosely with foil and bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove the foil about halfway through the cooking, and keep an eye out so they don’t brown.

After they are cool, roll in powdered sugar and serve with turkish coffee, tea, or regular coffee.

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Posted in: Dessert, Pastry