Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Date filled pastries – Ma-amoul

75g margerine or butter, softened
175gplain flour
1tsp rose water
1tsp orange flower water
4tsp sifted icing sugar, for sprinkling

For the filling
115g stoned dried dates
1/2tsp orange flower water

To make the filling, chop the dates finely. Add 50ml boiling water and the orange flower water, beat the mixture vigorously and leave to cool.
To make the pastries, rub the margerine or butter into the flour. Add the rose and orange flower waters and 3tbsp water and mix it into a firm dough.
Using your hands, shape the pastry dough into about 25 small balls
Preheat the oven to 180c. Press you finger into each ball to make a small container, pressing the sides round and round to make the walls thinner. Put 1/4 tsp of the date mixture into each one and seal by pressing the pastry together.
Arrange the date pastries, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet and prick each one with a fork. Bake for 15-20 min then cool.
Put the cooled pastries on a plate and sprinkle over the icing sugar. Shake lightly to make sure they are all coated.

These were really good. They are interesting because they are cookies, but the dough they use is much more of a pie crust dough then a cookie dough. It means that it isn’t the easiest to work with, and it’s fairly time consuming to make these, but the crispy crusty dough matches this cookie perfectly.

I’ve also been wanting to try orange flower, and rose water for awhile, and this recipe uses both. Orange flower water is way stronger then I expected it to be. It worked really well in taking the edge off the sweetness of the date filling, which means that these are the kind of cookie you could accidentally eat 25 of without realizing because they are not over the top sweet. Actually, the only sugar in the whole recipe is the little bit that you use to dust them with at the end.

I loved these. If you wanted a sugar free cookie, you could omit the sugar dusting and they would still be very good, but I recommend leaving that little bit of sugar in.

Everybody loved these, they were a big hit, and they are really a store cupboard type cookie, as you could have this stuff laying about for whenever you wanted to make them. I would definitely make them again.

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