Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Desserts & Baked Goods

Ma’amoul Med (Orange and Espresso Date Cookie Bars)

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Ingredients

MA'AMOUL MED ∙ معمول مد

Orange and Espresso Date Cookie Bars

Makes 24 pieces

Dough

1½ cups/245g semolina flour

1⅓ cups/187g all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon/2g kosher salt

½ cup/60g confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon/3g ground mahlab or amaretto extract (optional)

½ teaspoon/2g active dry yeast

1 cup/200g melted clarified butter or softened ghee

Filling

2 cups/225g pitted dates

1 tablespoon/15g softened clarified butter or ghee

1 teaspoon/3g espresso powder

½ teaspoon/2g ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon/2g orange zest

¼ teaspoon/2g ground cardamom

½ cup/120ml whole milk

2 teaspoons/12ml orange blossom water

Confectioners' sugar for dusting

To make the dough: In a medium bowl, combine the flours, salt, sugar, mahlab, and yeast. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix by hand or in a mixer until it forms a paste. Cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

To make the filling: While the flour mixture rests, immerse the dates in hot tap water and allow them to soak for about 10 minutes or until softened. Once they are soft, drain thoroughly and pulse them in the bowl of a food processor along with the butter, espresso powder, cinnamon, orange zest, and cardamom to form a sticky paste. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 15 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the dough will have hardened, so use a wooden spoon or other utensil such as a dough cutter to break up the dough a bit. Pour the milk and orange blossom water into the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Let stand at room temperature for another 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

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Preheat the oven to 300°F. Cut four sheets of parchment paper to fit an 8 by 11-inch sheet tray.

Form the dough into a ball and divide it into 2 equal parts.

Press half the dough onto one of the sheets of parchment. Layer a second piece of parchment on top and, using a rolling pin, roll an even ¼-inch crust to the paper's edges. Remove the top layer of parchment and flip the dough into the sheet tray. Re-use the sheets of parchment and roll out the second ball of dough. Set aside.

Sandwich the date filling between two new sheets of parchment and roll into an even ¼-inch layer, out to the paper's edges. Remove the top sheet and flip the date layer onto the dough. Remove the remaining parchment. Flip the remaining dough over the date filling and remove the final sheet of parchment.

Transfer the sheet tray to the oven and bake, rotating the tray once, until the bars are light golden brown on the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and, when it is cool enough to touch, cut the bars into 2 by 2-inch squares. Transfer the tray to a wire rack to finish cooling. When the bars completely cool, dust with the confectioners' sugar before serving.

The bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Variation: Ashta Cream Filling

1 recipe clotted cream

½ cup blossom syrup

¼ cup crushed pistachios

To replace the date filling with the cream filling, follow the same assembly procedure but spread the clotted cream on the bottom layer of dough. Top with a second layer of rolled dough. Press gently and bake. After removing the pan from the oven, immediately drizzle the syrup over the top and sprinkle with the pistachios. Allow to set for 15 minutes at room temperature. When it's cool enough to touch, cut the bars into 2-inch squares and serve. The bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Directions

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servings

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