The smell of ma’mool baking in the oven triggers nostalgia—of the evenings before Eid when excitement so deep and pure would wipe the sleep out of our eyes. As my siblings and I grew older, my mama would create a production line: roll the dough, roll the date paste, fill up the molds. The good old days. I pray my kids are able to look back fondly on similar experiences someday soon, inshAllah.




  • 3 cups fine semolina
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter (softened, not melted)
  • ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • ½ cup whole milk (room temperature)


  • 21 oz date paste
  • 2 tsp mahlab
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil



  • In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water and let it sit for 5 minutes
  • In a large bowl, combine the semolina, all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, and softened butter (I use the paddle attachment on my stand mixer to do this)
  • Once combined, add the milk and yeast water mixture to the bowl of flour and mix again until it turns into a ball of dough
  • Knead the dough with your hands for a minute before placing back into the bowl and covering with plastic wrap and a towel
  • Let the dough rest for 10 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper


  • Using your hands, combine the date paste, mahlab, cardamom, and avocado oil
  • Roll the date paste into 1 inch balls and set aside on a plate


  • Roll the dough into 1 ½ inch balls
  • Using a ma'mool mold, press dough into the center of the mold (flattening it out around the mold), then place date ball into the center of the dough and seal the dough around the date ball
  • Flip the mold and tap the edge onto a cutting board, popping the cookie out of the mold
  • Place the cookies onto the baking sheet and cover with a towel until the sheet is ready to be placed into the oven


  • Bake cookies for 15 minutes or until golden
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack
  • Serve with a cup of mint tea


  1. Make sure to keep the dough covered while you prepare the cookies—I typically have one towel covering the unused dough and one towel covering the tray waiting to be baked

Puff Pastry Pinwheels, the Palestinian Way

I love throwing together this dessert when I’m short on time or looking for something sweet and light…

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