Maysoun’s Maamoul Cookies

IMG_1429You know those people who have food blogs because they’re really great at cooking and want to share their recipes with the world? I’m not that. Or like, the one friend who’s just really good at putting stuff together with ‘what they have’? I’m not that either. Umm, or the person who just follows recipes and follows them but then sometimes gives up and eats avocado toast instead. That’s me.

Although recently I was super proud of myself for recreating a cookie recipe that I followed, just based off of memory and some help from the internet: maamoul cookies.

I used to have this neighbor when I lived in Colton, her name was Maysoun. She was in her 30’s, she was a mom of three girls and a wife to her husband who worked til evening time. I was unemployed at the time and babysat my niece who was her youngest daughter’s age. So oftentimes during the day, when the girls played, she would invite me over for tea and conversation. I thought “how cute … tea? do people actually do that? Okay, sure, why not.” She not only truly did serve tea, or coffee, but she also asked if I was hungry. And regardless of my answer, she would start putting snack food on the table for us. I thought she was so kind, very hospitable, very different from what I was used to growing up. We didn’t drink tea, and even though we’d offer things to people who visited us growing up, I don’t remember us serving them anyway. I really liked how warm her house always felt, and I certainly took a part of that with me after meeting her. I may not cook great, but I try my best to be as good of a host as she was.

Let me get to the point: Maya had these cookies she used to make during Ramadan (she’s Israeli Arab and Muslim), they were filled with dates and nuts and the dough was made with farina and orange rosewater. We’d make them together some afternoons and they were my most favorite thing ever. After I moved away from her and lost her number, I tried to find the recipe (and her) online, but didn’t ever find the exact thing I was looking for. I did find somewhat of a skeleton of a recipe to help me get started though on this website: Edible Michiana.

I followed all the steps until it came part to adding the dates to the dough. That’s when I rolled out the farina dough, and rolled out the baking dates.

baking dates

I stacked the rolled-out dates onto the dough and rolled it like a Cuban cigar. I cut them into pieces ,sprinkled pecans, and baked it for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, adding powdered sugar once they were done. I, my cousins, and my coworkers ate all 40 of them within a day, so I believe they were really good. Not as good though as I remember Maya’s to be, but very close and not bad considering I hadn’t made those in like 10 years.

I hope I will see my friend again soon.

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