Almond Ma’moul and a giveaway!

With Easter approaching, I have been in a frenzy of ma’moul making, stuffing them with pistachios, dates and now almonds.

However, unlike my grandmother who made them by hand all the way, I am using the food processor (kneading the dough takes less than 2 minutes) and the ma’moul molds.

I am also giving away  two  ma’moul molds to three different people.

Only available  to residents of the US or Canada. Offer ends on the last day of April 2011.

Conditions to win: Leave a comment here, telling me which of the molds you would like.


  • 1 1/2 cups of semolina flour (300 g.)
  • 1 1/2 cups of farina or cream of wheat (300 g.)
  • 2 sticks of butter (225 g.)
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of rose water and orange blossom water (use the combo of your choice, either 2 ounces of each or whatever mixture suits you) (125 g.)
  • 14 ounces of almonds, peeled and slivered (400 g.)
  • sugar syrup made of 2 cups of sugar, one cup of water, one teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of rose water and one teaspoon of orange blossom water (2 verres de sucre, un verre d’eau, une cuillère à café de jus de citron, d’eau de rose et d’eau de fleur d’oranger)
  • Powdered sugar, if needed
  • Rose water and orange blossom water, as needed




  1. Melt the two sticks of butter in a saucepan over low heat; skim the foam if you can.
  2. Place the semolina and cream of wheat in the bowl of a food processor; combine for 20 seconds. Keeping the machine running, add the melted butter through the feed tube in a steady stream. The dough should be sandy and dry at this point.
  3. Add the orange blossom and rose water through the feed tube and keep the machine running for one or two minutes until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and forms a mass. Open the lid and feel the dough; it should be moist and pliable. Transfer to a one-quart ziploc bag and keep in the bag tightly closed for one hour or longer. The longer it stays in the bag, the more it will soak up the butter and imbibe with the fragrance of the flower waters.
  4. Make the sugar syrup by placing two cups of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan and stirring a bit to dissolve the sugar; bring to a boil, add a teaspoon of lemon juice and boil for 10 minutes, not a minute longer; add a teaspoon of rose and orange blossom water to the syrup and let it cool. (The syrup can be prepared up to two weeks ahead and stored covered in the fridge).
  5. Place the slivered almonds in the bowl of the food processor and pulse to chop them up as fine as you like; add around4 tablespoons of syrup to the almonds, tasting to see if the sweetness is to your taste.
  6. Transfer the almond paste to a bowl and cover until ready to use. When ready, spread two large pieces of wax paper on a work surface. Make one inch balls of almond dough (or smaller, depending on the mold used); make larger pieces of semolina dough (I used a 1 1/2 inch cookie dough scooper to do this). Prepare the cookie sheets by lining them with baking paper. Heat the oven to 400F. Place a bowl of flour next to you (to flour the ma’moul mold). Spray and flour the ma’moul mold.

  1. Take one ball of dough and press it between the palms of your hands. You will obtain a 2 1/2 inch disk. Place the smaller ball of almond paste in the middle. Enclose the ball with your fingertips and roll back and forth between your palms to smooth it out. Insert the ball in the ma’moul mold and press on it gently with your palm; flip over the baking sheet with a snappy movement until the mold releases the ma’moul.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes: the ma’moul should be light gold, not brown.
  3. Serve while still warm (or cooled) with some powdered sugar or a sprinkling of syrup on the cookies if you like.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If the dough stiffens after resting for a while, you will place it in a bowl (of a mixer or food processor) and knead it again for a few minutes all the while adding some rose or orange blossom water if it needs it (if too dry or stiff). Start with one tablespoon at a time.

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  1. Joumana
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    @Shakira: You can find cream of wheat in any supermarket in the boxed cereal section; however, if that is not available anywhere, you can use all semolina flour; if you have a middle-eastern store near you, you will find the semolina and farina. You can also make ma’moul with 2/3 semolina and 1/3 regular flour.

    @Bina: The semolina flour is yellow and fine; I am assuming it is the same as the semolina flour used in Italy on pasta.

  2. Dana Haydock
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    These look yummy and beautiful at the same time! I would love the mold that looks like a bird face.

  3. Cara
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I would love the mould that looks like it has two eyes!!

  4. Posted April 17, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The mold that is the shape of an oval I think is amazing, it would be perfect for Easter, I’d love that one, my 4 kids would adore to help me make ma’moul with that one! Love your recipes!

  5. prairiechick
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I just stumbled to your site & it’s delightful! I’ve never tried lebanese food…I think it’s time to start! I’d be happy with any of the moulds, but if I have to choose…the last one that looks like a sun is very fun!

  6. Sarah
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Hello from Canada! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now but have never posted a comment. I am a foodie at heart and love to try new recipes from cuisines all around the world. I love it when traditional and modern foods come together to create something unexpected yet delicious.

    I’ve had ma’moul before, but have never tried to make it on my own. Perhaps I will give it a try when I have some free time from studying. Your molds are very pretty, but I love the second type of mold that is more circular in shape better. :)

  7. trina
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    I also like the mold that looks like an owl best.
    Your blog is fantastic! It helped get me through a cold, cold winter.

  8. Suzanne
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Am going to try this recipe even if I end up using a cookie stamp or whatever. Must confess that I’ll be substituing several ingredients to accomodate my multiple food allergies (like chickpea flour & cream of rice, walnuts or pecans and may try it with olive oil instead of the special margarine I use). My mouth is watering for real Mediterranean food as I type this.

    First choice for cookie mold would be the oval one but would be happy to have any!

  9. Carol B
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    This sounds very yummy, I would love to have this wonderful cookie mold, you decide which one and I will love it for ever. Thanks Carol

  10. monkeychow
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    This site is a real gem. I love Lebanese food. The oval mold is my favourite. I would definitely try to make my own ma’moul if that mold was in my kitchen. Lebanese food rocks!

  11. Posted April 20, 2011 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    I would love the mold with the cross.

  12. Posted April 20, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    saw these being made cookies look forward to making these cookies i love all Lebanese cooking!

  13. Posted April 20, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    love the mold with the crosses and the one that looks like bird eyes be happy to have anyone

  14. Andrea
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I used both your recipes for the ma’moul as well as the kaak bel-ajweh. They were very easy to follow and according to my Palestinian dad, quite a success! I had eaten these cookies all through my childhood, but never learned to make them. I also never realized the ma’moul required a special, beautiful, tool. Needless to say, I improvised with my design this time. I would love to try to make them with the one with the oval design. Thanks for your help with my ambitious endeavor :)

  15. Denise
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Either of the molds would be welcomed and my family absolutely loves ma’moul. We grew up on this cooking from both of our grandmothers and miss it terribly. Thanks so much

  16. Posted April 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh my word! I am so excited about your giveaway! I found you while searching for a recipe for ma’amoul. I tried to buy a mold in a town a few hours from here, but they had just run out. Of the three you show, I like the last one, the round one shown by itself at the bottom – it has the rings on the top and the ridges on the sides. I also like the other round one with the design on top. Thank you for your generosity!

  17. clara
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    i like the one with 2 eyes but any of them looks awesome. good luck to everyone joining this contest :)

  18. vardit
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    love your recipe!!! completely different of what I know as ma-amoul!!! looks so stylish!
    have to try make that!!!

  19. Yasmine
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joumana,
    I love Ma’moul in all its shapes and forms. My mom was visiting me from Egypt and I asked her to bring some back from the bakery in our neighborhood. I’ve made your cake style ma’moul with the orange zest but I’m dying to try the traditional ones using one of your molds! So I would love the round one like the one you used:)

  20. Loren
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I have been searching for almond ma’moul for a long time – thank you so much! I visited Beirut in 1972 – and loved it there!, and the great foods ever since If you come to Seattle, I will make you the world’s best tabooli just for you. It has been the only requested dish at our annual potluck for ~20 years now. I learned this from an old man who made a giant vat every Friday for all of his children’s friends – the very best from an old master.

  21. Posted April 24, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow, now I want cookies! I’d love to win either mold. I wonder how they’d work as butter molds.

  22. Mandy
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I love the sun-like mold (the last one)!

  23. Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Pick me! Pick me! I want the date one. I love ma’mouls and so does my hubby. I have always wanted to make them but lacked the……ma’moul mold.

    Yours look beautiful!

  24. Ihem
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Way to go girl…i like to see poeple carry the tradition.. good way to advertise too.
    i woul like the one you used for making the mamoul you self that looks yum and thank you

  25. momtodc
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I love the circle mold that looks like an owls face

  26. Vickie H.
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I just found your website today and cannot wait to wander around and check everything out. My boyfriend is Lebanese and I love learning about his family’s food, history and culture. I loved your video of the 10 Minute Baklava…and it makes me hungry.

    The molds are so lovely – and I really like the sun mold…last one. Thank you.

  27. Carolyn Krietemeier
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I just got back from a two week vacation in Lebanon. The food and pastries were fantastic. My husband loved the Baklawa while my favorite was the Ma’moul cookies. I’ve made Ma’moul by hand before but it would be nice to have one of the pretty molds, particularly the wooden starburst one. I am planning to have a Lebanese dinner party (mezes and main course) and it would be nice to have the fancy Ma’moul mold.

  28. Posted April 26, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I cant wait to try this Ma’moul recipe, it look so good, all the molds are beautiful, I have never saw them before, but if I had to choose, I really like the top one, kind of a cross design.
    Thanks, ~Kim~

  29. Posted April 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    i’d love the mold that looks like a bird! :)

  30. Posted April 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I loved the way you explained the entire recipe ! First time visitor to your blog.
    And I love the 2nd mold with circular rings ! :)

    Thanks !

  31. Posted April 30, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I was so sure I had commented and entered your draw. I would love to try this mold and make this sweet. You work so hard every day! I can’t believe how much you can cook! Thanks.

  32. Posted May 28, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    You are lovely. I just discovered your site on Stumble and keep coming back to see you. You had a Teta and now I am a Teta to three wonderful grandsons. They are used to my Egyptian cooking.

    I love Lebanese cooking and eating. Like you, I grew up in the 60s and 70s in Cairo not Lebanon and worked for a Lebanese xport/import. Your people love life and living. I adored the music and the Dabka when I could.

    Regards and thank you for the wonderful site.

  33. Halim
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    How many ma’amoul cookies does this recipe yield?

  34. Joumana
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    @Halim: it depends on the mold, but about 30 to 35.

  35. nina
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    where can i buy this mould in USA

  36. Joumana
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    @nina: You can find this mold in most Middle-Eastern groceries in the US and Canada.

  37. bluberry
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Hello Joumama, I love your recipes and it makes me go back in time when Immi always had something yummy on the table or in the pantry. I cook all my meals from her traditions and they are appreciated by all who eat them and like you I share and teach the next generation lest we forget our food and culture.
    Thank you for sharing your recipes and stories:)
    Sahtain from a Canadian table.

  38. Joumana
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    @bluberry: You message is highly appreciated Sara, I have lived as an expat long enough to know that unless we make a conscious effort all of these wonderful traditions will be lost on our children. I applaud you!!! :)

  39. debby
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I would love to try these, they look sooo good. I would be very happy if I won anyone of these molds..

  40. Joumana
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    @ debby: Unfortunately debby I ran this giveaway last year. I should do it again!

  41. Kelly
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    sorry to bother you but I think something is wrong with the search function of your blog. It just doesnt return results. very frustrating!

  42. Joumana
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    @Kelly: wordpress does not do a good job of finding stuff; if you are looking for something specific, here is a suggestion that I was told works perfectly: type what you are looking for+Tasteof Beirut and do a search on google. let me know if this helps! :)

  43. Joumana
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    @Kelly: I just tried it also and with wordpress it was VERY frustrating. I am going to see if there is a remedy; otherwise, Google is the only option I can recommend.

  44. Joumana
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    @Kelly: I am getting more results through wordpress when I go directly to the categories search bar; skip the search bar and scroll down to category and pick the one you are interested in.

  45. Posted May 19, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I guess I could swap the almonds for walnuts in here?
    By the way I made your za’atar rolls several times already since I last commented on that post. They’re a huge hit with friends and family.

  46. Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Hi Joumana
    I bought the semolina but the person in the middle east market asked me whether I need fine or coarse semolina, I bought the coarse, is that ok?
    In addition, I prepared the dough yesterday evening and I’m planning to use it today, you didn’t mention in the instructions but I assume I have to leave it in the refrigerator, is that right? thanks!

  47. Joumana
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    @Giselle: Coarse or fine semolina is fine and can be use either ay; the only difference is you will end up with a crumblier pastry if you use coarse semolina as opposed to fine; now you can leave the dough overnight (in fact it is better) soaking in butter and the next day, rework it with a little bit og rose or orage blossom water if it is too stiff.

  48. Cali
    Posted February 11, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi thanks for posting this recipe. I look forward to making these with walnuts. Btw, where did you get that cute coffee cup?

  49. Nancy Barnum
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    May I purchase a small date ma’moul mold from you, please? I have a large mold for date ma’mouls (2 1/2 in. diameter) but would love a small one (about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 in diameter). Thanks!

  50. Joumana
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    @Nancy Barnum: I am currently in Lebanon; I can send you a date ma’amoul mold but the shipping fee will be too expensive. Have you tried your local middle eastern store? they always stock up on ma’amoul molds towards Easter, or check online or the food depot or some other purveyors.

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