If you’ve ever tasted traditional maamoul cookies, you’ll know why they are so special; they taste incredible and are entirely unique. Sweet cookies filled with a date paste (or walnuts or pistachios, depending on your preference), these treats have been part of the Eid celebrations for millennia, and more recently, they have become part of many people’s Easter events too.
Yet just what is the history of these delectable delicacies? Is there more to them than the fact they taste great? The answer is yes – they’ve been around for so long that it would be more of a surprise if there were no story behind them at all. Read on to find out more about the origins of maamoul.
The very beginning of the story of maamoul is a mystery. It’s a disappointing fact, but since they have been part of Middle Eastern life for so many centuries, it’s perhaps not surprising that there is no real understanding of how they initially came about. What we do know is that they have formed part of religious celebrations and ceremonies ever since time immemorial, or so it would seem.
The cookies probably came about thanks to the religious fasting period of Ramadan. Strict observers of the Muslim faith will fast during Ramadan, foregoing some of their favourite foods to show they were loyal to their religion – it’s a similar idea to Lent in the Christian faith. Since maamoul are so tasty, and they use a variety of different ingredients that would probably have been frowned upon during Ramadan, they are the ideal Eid treat. In other words, they mark the end of the fasting period in spectacular style, allowing those who have observed the customs of their religion something to look forward to.
How Maamoul Are Made
Maamoul has some unusual ingredients in it, which is what makes it so special and why it is unlike anything else. The dough is made using either wheat flour or semolina flour. Some bakers even combine these flours together, as this creates a more decadent cookie. Once the cookie dough is made, it will be pressed into moulds which are traditionally made of wood, although metal moulds are becoming more popular. If the maamoul contains date paste, it will have a slightly flat top, but if it contains pistachios, it will be oblong, and if it contains walnuts, the top will be more of a cone shape.
Although there is sugar included in the recipe, and the finished cookies are usually dusted with powdered sugar for decoration (and because it tastes good), the fact that most of the sweetness comes from the date filling means that the amount of sugar used is much less than that used in standard cookies. Although we’re not saying maamoul is healthy, we can say they are a little healthier than a regular cookie (and, we think, tastier too)!
At Jamila’s Cookies, we create stunning maamoul using traditional methods and ingredients. Our one-of-a-kind maamoul is made from scratch and are delivered directly to you so you can enjoy these special treats whenever you want to. Just check out https://www.jamilascookies.co.uk/ for more information.