prepping the flours (day 1):
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups farina
1 cup semolina
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons melted clarified butter or ghee *
the filling (day 2):
4 cups chopped dates (about 1 pound 5 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon water (or 2 tablespoons if your dates look dry)
3/4 cups 2% or whole milk
The farina/semolina mixture (above)
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
Additional milk as needed
baking the cookies:
Ma’amoul dough (above)
Date Balls (above)
Powdered sugar for dusting
* If you’re clarifying your own butter, start with 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) regular unsalted butter. Melt the butter over medium heat. Once it has completely melted, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes, until the butter solids have risen to the top and the bubbling has started to get a little quieter. To filter, skim the solids from the top of the butter and then pour the melted butter into a liquid measuring cup, slowing down at the end and leaving the sunk solids at the bottom of the pot. Let the butter cool to warm room temperature before adding it to the flours. Or watch the video after the recipe.
** The size of the balls will depend on the size press you’re using. A good rule of thumb is that the date paste should take up about 1/3 of the press’ cavity, while the dough should take up about 2/3 of the mold. Don’t overstuff the molds, and err on the side of less.
*** Assuming you measure perfectly and you use the right flours, this should be the perfect amount of milk to add. But if you’re unsure of your measuring, check out the dough’s consistency at this point and decide whether you want to add all of the rest of the milk. If it looks a little on the wet side or if you’re unsure, add half the remaining milk, wait 20 minutes, and then decide whether you want to add the rest. You can add the rest of the milk as gradually as you’d like, as long as you give it more time to soak.