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Recipe Collection

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Prep time: 15-20 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Yield: 20–30 cookies

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I recreated the kaak ma’amoul (“filled cookies” in Arabic) that I ate in Bethlehem as soon as I got back to my kitchen. Inspired by Bubbe’s cookies, I added plenty of orange zest and juice. I also substituted whole-wheat flour for white flour. This is a perfect Tu b’Shevat treat as it incorporates three of the seven species: dates, olives and wheat! (Note: Most kaak ma’amoul is made with sweet, yeasted dough, and sometimes with semolina in addition to wheat flour. This is not the traditional version of the recipe.)

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Filling
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom, ground
  • ½ teaspoon cloves, ground
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • Juice of 1 medium orange

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients for dough with a stand mixer or knead with your hands until dough is smooth and stretchy.
  • Combine filling ingredients in food processor and blend into a smooth paste. Divide dough into 25 to 30 balls (1½ inches each). Divide paste into the same number of balls, but keep each ball half the size of the each dough ball. Roll each dough ball into a 4x1-inch rectangle. Wet hands, and roll paste ball into thin log. Place date log into dough and fold dough around it (like a tube).
  • Roll the log/tube in your hands until smooth. Shape the dough log into a circle and seal it into a closed ring by pinching the ends together (you may have to use some water to get it to stick). Place circles on baking sheet and cook until golden, around 25 minutes.

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