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Pistachio-Filled Butter Cookies (Mamoul)

These buttery cookies from Lebanon are traditionally made in wooden molds.

Ingredients

Dough

Filling

* Rose water is available in Middle Eastern food stores and through online gourmet shops. If you prefer, you may substitute orange-flower water.

Instructions

  1. Line 1 1/2 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans lined with parchment or foil. Set rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Dough: Place flour in bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade and add chunks of butter. Pulse to mix butter in finely, keeping mixture powdery. Take off cover and evenly sprinkle flour and butter mixture with rose water and milk. Cover and pulse again until dough forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and cover with plastic wrap while making filling.
  3. Filling: Stir together pistachios, granulated sugar and rose water in small bowl. To form the mamoul, roll dough into a cylinder about 18 inches long. Use knife or bench scraper to cut dough every ½ inch to make 36 pieces of dough. To form each cookie, roll one of the pieces of dough between the palms of your hands to make a sphere. Insert a fingertip to make an opening, then use your thumbs to enlarge the opening and make a little cup. Fill the cup with a spoonful of the filling and pinch the opening closed, forming the mamoul into an even sphere. Place formed mamoul on one of the prepared pans, seam side down. Repeat with remaining dough and filling, placing mamoul on pans about 1 inch apart in all directions. After all the mamoul are formed, use a fork and pierce the sides and tops of the cookies.
  4. Bake mamoul until just barely golden (they should remain pale), about 20 to 25 minutes. Change position of pans from upper to lower rack and vice versa, also turning the back to front at least once during baking. If your oven gives strong bottom heat, stack 2 pans together for lower rack, to provide insulation. Cool mamoul on pans on racks. When they are completely cooled, dust them heavily with powdered sugar.
  5. To store, keep cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in container with a tight-fitting lid. If cookies are made in advance, dust them with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

3 dozen cookies

Credit: Recipe courtesy of Nick Malgieri

Recipe and photograph courtesy of C&H Sugar Company, Inc.


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