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mamouls-msg - 1/9/02


A Middle Eastern date/nut/dried fruit filled cookie embossed with patterns.


NOTE: See also the files: cookies-msg, desserts-msg, Rosquillas-msg, pastries-msg, shortbread-msg, Digby-Cakes-art, Andlsn-Pstres-art, gingerbread-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: phoenissa at netscape.net

Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 21:19:13 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] New gadget


That's a great new gadget you picked up, but I'm afraid it's NOT a couscous mold!  :o) You could certainly use it for that if you want, but that's not what it's intended for.  It's actually a cookie mold - there's a special kind of cookie made in the Middle East called "mamoul," and it's usually made for Easter.  The flavorings vary; the dough is unsweetened (butter, flour, rosewater and orange blossom water), and it can be filled with a mixture of chopped dates and butter, or chopped nuts (walnuts or pistachios) with sugar and rosewater.  You take a bit of the dough and flatten it out into a cirle, put a spoonful of filling inthe middle, and close the dough over it, so it's a little round ball.  You then squish this ball into the mold so it's flat, and smash the mold on the table really hard to get the cookie to pop out :-)  The cookie has the same pattern as the mold, and you use a different mold for each type of filling so you can tell what's inside.  After they're baked, you sprinkle powdered sugar on top (except for the date ones).  Yum!!  They are wonderfully delicious, and tons of fun to make.  I've had these every year for my entire life, and can confidently say they are the most scrumptious cookies I've ever had :-)  (Making them is also even more fun than dyeing Easter eggs!)


All right, I'm sure you've all learned more about mamoul than you ever wanted to know ;) sorry about that, folks.  Anyway, Olwen, if you can find a recipe for mamoul, you should give it a try!  Get more molds and invite people over for a cookie party...


Have fun with your new toy! :-)





From: phoenissa at netscape.net

Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 13:49:22 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: RE: RE: [Sca-cooks] New gadget


Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net> wrote:

>Do we have any evidence that these cookies might be

>period? There is nothing about them that stands out saying that they

>aren't period or couldn't be. However, I'd prefer to have better

>evidence than just my supposition.


I really have no idea.  The ingredients are all period, and as far as preparation, there are several (European, at least) recipes of dough filled with fruit, right?  It's even possible that those molds were being made before 1600.  Actually, there's one thing I didn't say about the cookies earlier - the molds are used pretty much only when you make them for Easter or special occasions.  The rest of the year, you can buy mamoul in sheets, kind of like we find browines or lemon bars...I think the dough is semolina-based, not flour-based, and the filling is spread between two layers of it; you cut it up in little squares and eat it.  (I'm not as certain about the preparation method for this one since we've never made it at home.)  But it may be that mamoul was made in sheets since long ago and the molds are a fairly modern invention?


One thing that made me suspect that a version of mamoul is period was a dessert that I made out of Bartolomeo Scappi's cookbook.  It's called "tortiglione ripieno" (stuffed pie), and it's an unsweetened dough flavored with rosewater, and filled with a mixture of dates & other dried fruits cooked in wine and spices.  The first time I tried it, the taste reminded me a lot of mamoul; and didn't Scappi have some exposure to Middle Eastern cooking?  That may have inspired some elements of this recipe, but that's a wild and mostly unfounded guess ;-)


I'll ask my parents if they know how long mamoul has been made...they're more likely to know than I am.  Next time I'm at their house I'll also look through some of our Middle Eastern cookbooks and see if there are any notes on the history this cookie.





From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: RE: [Sca-cooks] New gadget

Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 13:14:52 -0500


>I think the dough is semolina-based, not flour-based



Semolina is wheat flour.  It is coarsely milled durum wheat usually with the

bran remaining.  You can use regular flour anyplace you use semolina, but

there is a difference in taste and texture.





From: phoenissa at netscape.net

Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 14:12:53 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: RE: Re: [Sca-cooks] New gadget


Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net> wrote:

>I don't suppose you have an actual recipe for these, do you?




No, I don't, sorry!  The recipe is my mom's, which means two things: 1) it's 400 miles away from me, and 2) she doesn't give it away to anybody ;-)


I did a quick search online, and found nothing; one recipe in French, but there were lots of differences between it and my mom's.  (Weird ones, like using brandy instead of rosewater.  Hmph.)  However, if you want to taste these scrumptious pastries for yourself, you can order them online.  Shatila, a mid-eastern bakery based in Michigan, makes fabulous desserts, and they ship them just about anywhere.  www.shatila.com  Click on "products," then "mamoul" - there are pictures, if anyone's curious to know what these look like, and they sell both the molded cookies and the sheets.  I highly recommend just about anything from their bakery :-)  Their baklawa is excellent too...



(not affiliated, just a happy customer)



From: phoenissa at netscape.net

Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 14:17:25 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: RE: Re: RE: [Sca-cooks] New gadget


Ah, ok.  What I meant was, the dough is made from more semolina flour than regular flour.  There is some semolina in the molded cookie dough too, but I think it's texturally less noticeable than in the sheet cookies.





Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 11:38:13 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: Maggie MacDonald <maggie5 at home.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Mamoul (was new gadget)


At 01:14 PM 10/15/01 -0500,Terry Decker said something like:

>Semolina is wheat flour.  It is coarsely milled durum wheat usually with the

>bran remaining.  You can use regular flour anyplace you use semolina, but

>there is a diference in taste and texture.




I did a search on "mamoul recipe", and came up with several hits.

One page was "Adventures in Armenian Cooking" (

http://www.cilicia.com/armo_cb_anoush.html#MAMOUL )


And using farina (which is bloody close to semolina), though this one adds

sugar to its dough.  Maybe exchange the sugar and vanilla for rosewater?

And they use a spoon as the molding object, but I can see how it would be

quite easy to use the carved mold instead.


Maggie MacD.


MAMOUL -Akaby Yaylaian

(Nut filled cookie)

1 lb. sweet butter, melted

1 sm. box farina

1/2 cup water or milk

3 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour


1 cup nuts, finely chopped

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp. butter

1/2  tsp. cinnamon


Mix melted butter with farina and let set overnight. In the morning, mix

water or milk together with sugar and vanilla. Combine all ingredients with

flour, kneading thoroughly. Shape pieces of dough into oval shaped serving

spoon, leveling dough evenly across top of spoon. Make a slight indentation

in center of dough. Place 1 teaspoon of filling into indentation. Gently

press dough around filling. Arrange on ungreased baking sheet, pinch with

fingers along seam on top of each mamoul. Bake in preheated 400F oven for

15-20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately. Cool to lukewarm and cover

generously with confectionery sugar, handling gently.

Makes 4 dozen



From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 16:20:43 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Ma'mool Recipe


Greetings.  From Helen Corey's _Food from Biblical Lands_ comes this

recipe for "ma'mool", or "nut-filled cakes".


1 1/2 cups clarified butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon orange flower water


Blend together the butter and sugar.  Add the milk and flour and

knead well.  (She uses a food processor and gets a perfect blend.)

Form dough into small round balls, 2 inches in circumference.  Make

an indentation and fill with 1 teaspoon nut mixture.  (See below.)

Close the top, sealing dough together.  Place in ma'mool mold to

form pattern on bottom.  With fingers, flatten top of dough.  Tap

mold to release ma'mool.  Place on ungreased baking tray.


Preheat oven to 325 F.  Place tray on middle shelf of oven and bake

for 15 minutes.  Then move tray to upper shelf of oven and bake

another 5 minutes.  When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Yield:

28 cakes.


Filling:  Combine the following ingredients:


2 cups ground English walnuts

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons clarified butter

1 teaspoon orange blossom water


Don't know about the "period-icity", but they certainly do taste



Alys Katharine



From: phoenissa at netscape.net

Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 16:26:30 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Mamoul (was new gadget)


Maggie MacDonald <maggie5 at home.com> wrote:

>I did a search on "mamoul recipe", and came up with several hits.

>One page was "Adventures in Armenian Cooking" (

>http://www.cilicia.com/armo_cb_anoush.html#MAMOUL )


>And using farina (which is bloody close to semolina),

>though this one adds

>sugar to its dough.  Maybe exchange the sugar and vanilla for rosewater?

>And they use a spoon as the molding object, but I can see how it would be

>quite easy to use the carved mold instead.


>Maggie MacD.


>MAMOUL -Akaby Yaylaian

>(Nut filled cookie)


Yes, this looks more or less right. :-) I may have been getting farina and semolina mixed up, but I think either one should work fine. Sugar and vanilla are right out; try a bit of rosewater instead, and orange-blossom water, too, if you can find it.  Otherwise, looks good!  If anyone tries this recipe, I'd love to hear how it comes out :-)





Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 19:27:31 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mamoul (was new gadget)


Johnnae llyn Lewis sends greetings.


Sonia Uvezian in Recipes and Rememberances from An

Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen [Univ of Texas, 1999]

gives a recipe for "ma'mul". Apparently the spelling

varies, so everyone should remember to try alternative

spellings when searching for recipes. Uvezian says the

mold is called a "tabi". She says to flour the mold,

knock excess flour out, then mold the cookie. Invert the

mold and tap the cookie out. She gives recipes for nut

filling and a date filling. She also cites a reference

where they were mentioned in the 1840's, so they are at

least that old.


Johnna Holloway



From: phoenissa at netscape.net

Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 00:34:02 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] RE: Mamoul


"Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com> wrote:

>Thanks again Vittoria.  Any further information is always welcome.


And here's some of it: the Scappi pie recipe, as promised. It's a bit long but worth it.  Both the translation and the redaction are from Anne Willan's book "Great Cooks and their Recipes" - a very good survey of the history of cooking, even beyond the SCA period :-)



Knead together 2 pounds flour, 6 egg yolks, 2 ounces rosewater, 1 ounce yeast dissolved in lukewarm water, and 4 ounces fresh butter or lard that does not smell bad, and quite a bit of salt, for half an hour so that the dough is well worked, and then roll it out thinly and cover with melted butter, that is not too hot, or lard, and with the pastry wheel cut all around the edges of the dough that are always thicker than the rest; sprinkle the dough with four ounces sugar, and 1 ounce cinnamon, and then have a pound of raisins that have been boiled in wine, and 1 pound of dates also cooked in wine and finely chopped, and 1 pound of seedless raisins boiled in wine, all mixed together with sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and then spread on the dough with pieces of butter, and roll up the dough lenthwise like crepes, being careful not to break the dough, and this tortiglione must not be rolled up more than three turns so it cooks better, nor handled too much, but then basted with melted butter that is not too hot, then beginning from one end roll it up lightly like a snail or a maze; and have a pie pan prepared with a sheet of the same dough, of the same thickness, basted with butter, and put it lightly over the tortiglione without pressing it down, and cook in the oven in a moderate heat, basting with butter from time to time, and when it is cooked sprinkle with sugar, rose water, and serve hot.  The pie pan used for the tortiglione should be open and with low sides.


For 8 servings


1/2 oz. compressed yeast, or 1/4 oz. dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water

3 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

3 egg yolks

2 tbsp rose water

1/4 butter or lard, melted


1 cup raisins

1 cup currants

1 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped

1 cup sweet white wine [I've used red and that works fine too]

1/3 cup butter or lard, melted (for brushing)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup butter, cut in pieces


1 egg, beaten with 1/2 tsp salt (for glaze - optional)

1 tbsp rosewater

confectioner/icing sugar (for sprinkling)

9 inch round cake pan


1. For the dough: crumble or sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand until dissolved, about 5 min.  Sift the flour into a bowl with the salt and make a well i nthe center.  Add the egg yolks, rosewater, melted butter or lard, and yeast mixture and stir to form a smooth dough.  Turn out on to a lightly floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.


2. Put the dough in a warm, lightly oiled bowl, turn it over so the top is oiled, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.  Meanwhile, simmer the raisins, currants, and dates in the wine until they are plump and the wine is absorbed, 8-10 minutes; let them cool.  Butter the cake pan.


3. Wehen the dough is risen, knead it lightly to knock out the air and set aside about a sixth of it.  Roll out the remaining dough with melted butter or lard and sprinkle with half the sugar mxed with 1 tsp of the cinnamon.  Mixt the cooled raisin mixture with the remaining sugar and cinnamon, the nutmeg, and cloves and spread them on the dough.  Dot the filling with the pieces of butter and fold the dough lengthwise to make three layers.  Brush the top with melted butter.  Curl the dough in the prepared cake pan in a loose spiral, with the original folds at the edges, taking care not to break the dough.


4. Roll out the reserved dough with the trimmings to a very thin round about 12 inches in diameter.  Cover the dough spiral with the round, tucking down the edges so the spiral is completely covered.  Roll out any scraps to make petals, leaves and a stem for a flower decoration on top. [or you could decorate it with a heraldic device! ;)]  brush the top with melted butter and put in a warm place to rise until the dough has almost doubles in bulk, about 40 minutes.  Heat the oven to 375 F.  Brush the dough with the egg glaze, if you like.


5. Bake the yeast cake in the heated oven for 30 minutes, turn down the heat to 325 F and continue baking until well browned, 30-45 minutes londer, basting from time to time with melted butter.  If the cake browns too much during cooking, cover it with foil.  When cooked, sprinkle while still hot with rosewater, followed by confectioners'/icing sugar, and serve hot. [I've also served it at room temperature, and it's good that way too.  I usually skip the sugar.]





From: Seton1355 at aol.com

Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 15:10:30 EDT

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] REC::MA'AMOUL:::wasRe:New gadget


>>>>Aren't mamoul cookies the nifty hocky pucks filled with date mush and

have pretty patterns embossed in the outsides?>>>


Here is a recipe for nut filled ma'amoul, but you could easily substitute

date mush for the nuts.




Ma'Amoul (Nut Filled Cookies)

Yield: 35 Servings





2 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 c semolina

2 1/2 sticks pareve margarine or 2

- sticks; butter

2 ts vegetable oil

1/4 c water; (up to 1/2 cup)





1 1/2 c roughly ground walnuts

1 ts cinnamon

1/2 c sugar


1. Combine the flour, semolina, margarine and vegetable oil. Add the water

gradually. Blend well. (A food processor is splendid for this.) Cover and

set aside for 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator.


2. Combine the walnuts with the cinnamon and sugar.


3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Either use the ma'amoul mold described above or take a piece of the

dough about the size of a walnut. Roll it into a ball and hollow out the

center. Inside, place a heaping teaspoon of walnut filling. With your

hands, mold the dough closed.


5. Place each cookie on an ungreased cookie sheet. With the tines of a fork

or tweezers with a serrated edge, make designs on the top of a cookie,

being sure not to penetrate the crust.


6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Do not brown, the cookies should

look white. Cool. When hard, roll in confectioner's sugar.


Makes 35-40.


NOTES: Ma'amoul means "filled" in Arabic. Ma'amouls are small imprinted

molds made of wood that have a handle attached. A piece of short-pastry

dough is pressed into these molds and date or nut filling is then enclosed

in the dough. Holding the handle, the mold is slammed on the table causing

the finished dough to drop out. The imprinted dough can then be rolled in

confectioner's sugar if so desired. If a mold is not available the cookies

can also be made using a tool of your choice.


These cookies are traditionally eaten at Purim in Middle Eastern

countries... especially in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.


SOURCE: The Jewish Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan p. 227 Schocken Books NY

ISBN 0-8052-0900-X


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org