MAKROUD (A DATE FILLED SEMOLINA COOKIE) A NORTH AFRICAN AFTERNOON

MAKROUD (A DATE FILLED SEMOLINA COOKIE) A NORTH AFRICAN AFTERNOON
May 18, 2016 Kimberlie

MAKROUD (A DATE FILLED SEMOLINA COOKIE) A NORTH AFRICAN AFTERNOON

Makroud–A Date Filled Semolina Cookie, The Finer Cookie.

Cookie blogging can be a solitary sport with days spent thinking about sugar plums, chocolate, and lemon crunch. However, on one Spring Saturday afternoon, I pulled out my trays and pastry brush (Evelyne!) to share with two really talented food bloggers from Montreal: Evelyne of CulturEatz, and Hilary of Cocoa Bean The Vegetable. The idea was that we team up for a North African Afternoon.

Evelyne featured Chicken Bastilla, a marvellous Moroccan Chicken Almond Phyllo Pie, while Hilary chose Roasted Stuffed Eggplant with lots and lots of fresh herbs.

I was all in for the cookie part. My challenge was to find a North African cookie that would compliment the comforting Bastilla and the fresh herb Roasted Stuffed Eggplant. My friend from Tunis (with whom I dance Tango) has been asking me to make Makroud--a Date-Filled Semolina Cookie. Growing up, he remembers them piled high in pastry cases in his neighborhood bake shop. When he says they’re delicious, he’s right. For me, Makroud is an exceptional kind of cookie, not just for their origin, but how very little white sugar is in this recipe. The sweetness of the date, orange and spice filling carry this cookie to the finish line. The semolina is dense, but not heavy. The deep fry creates crunch and the Orange Blossom Sugar Syrup provides the sweet finishing moisture.

So on collaboration day, The Finer Cookie kitchen was mostly organized when Evelyne and Hilary arrived. In perfect style, we began with Proseco and St. Germain (never too early) and then got to our work.

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  • Makes 24 cookies

    MAKROUD--DATE FILLED SEMOLINA COOKIE INGREDIENTS

  • recipe Makroud Cookie Dough
  • recipe Orange Blossom Sugar Syrup
  • recipe Date Filling
  • MAKROUD COOKIE INGREDIENTS

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon saffron threads , crushed
  • ¼ cup canola, or any other flavourless oil
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1⁄2 cups wheat semolina flour , finely ground
  • ORANGE BLOSSOM SUGAR SYRUP INGREDIENTS

  • 3⁄4 cup (5 1⁄4 oz) sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup honey
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • DATE FILLING INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2-4 tablespoons water depending on the dryness of the dates
  • FRYING AND FINISHING INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 cups flavourless oil for frying

TASTE SENSATIONS IN THREE COURSES

  • Evelyne is featuring Chicken Bastilla, which is this marvellous Moroccan Chicken Almond Phyllo Pie, while Hilary chose Roasted Stuffed Eggplant with lots and lots of fresh herbs.
  • I was all in for the cookie part. My challenge was to find a North African cookie that would compliment the comforting Bastilla and the fresh herb Roasted Stuffed Eggplant. My friend from Tunis (with whom I dance Tango) has been asking me to make Makroud--a Date-Filled Semolina Cookie. Growing up, he remembers them piled high in pastry cases in his neighborhood bake shop. When he says they’re delicious, he’s right. For me, Makroud is an exceptional kind of cookie, not just for their origin, but how very little white sugar is in this recipe. The sweetness of the date, orange and spice filling carry this cookie to the finish line. The semolina is dense, but not heavy. The deep fry creates crunch and the Orange Blossom Sugar Syrup provides the sweet finishing moisture.
  • So on collaboration day, The Finer Cookie kitchen was mostly organized when Evelyne and Hilary arrived. In perfect style, we began with Proseco and St. Germain (never too early) and then got to our work.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    St. Germain and Prosecco to start the day!

  • What a pleasure it was cooking together. Didn’t the day fly by? You’re both very talented—everything went so smoothly. Thank you Evelyne and Hilary! I had a really good time. I think our North African feast was exceptional.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Me, Evelyn and Hilary. This shot wasn’t posed.

  • I urge you to visit Evelyne’s amazing Bastilla, and Hilary’s very gorgeous Roasted Stuffed Eggplant. Below is the Makroud—A Date Filled Semolina Cookie. All three dishes are perfect for an outdoors in the summertime, as they inspire sunshine and warm ocean breezes.
  • One last item: Thank you Saveur Magazine for this very delicious recipe. Click on the link to see the original post.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Our North African feast!

MISE EN PLACE FOR THE MAKROUD SEMOLINA COOKIE

  • In a small bowl, combine 1⁄2 teaspoon salt with the saffron and 1⁄2 cup warm tap water and let stand for 5 minutes to allow the saffron to steep.
  • Melt the butter
  • Add 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil to the melted butter.
  • Measure the semolina and set aside.
  • Line 1 baking sheet with parchment
  • Pour the oil for frying into a deep, wide mouth sauce pan or sauté pan.
  • Measure the sesame seeds onto a plate or small bowland set aside
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Steeping saffron and salt.

ASSEMBLE THE COOKIE DOUGH

  • Add saffron liquid, and butter and oil together in a large bowl and stir until combined.

  • Add the semolina flour to the liquid and stir until a smooth dough forms.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Have fun while mixing.

  • makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Mix the semolina dough.

  • Knead the dough briefly in the bowl until it becomes a smooth and dense.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Gather the semolina dough.

  • Divide in quarters and wrap each piece in plastic wrap.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Two of the four pieces wrapped in plastic.

  • Let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

MAKE THE ORANGE BLOSSOM HONEY SYRUP

  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with the honey, lemon juice, orange blossom water, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Making the Orange Blossom Syrup.

  • Remove the syrup from the heat, pour into a medium bowl, and let cool completely.

MIS-EN-PLACE THE DATE FILLING

ASSEMBLING THE MAKROUD

  • On a clean work surface, unwrap 1 piece of dough and roll into an even 12-inch rope. Using your finger, press along the top of the rope to flatten the middle, creating a moat of dough with high sides.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Make a mote for the date filling.

  • Pipe the filling into the middle of the moat.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Piping the date filling into the mote.

  • Using your fingers, bring the sides of the dough up and over, pinching to enclose the filling.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Close the semolina dough.

  • Roll the rope back and forth to create a smooth surface.
  • Flatten the rope slightly until It is roughly3⁄4 inch thick
  • Using a paring knife, trim the ends and cut on a deep diagonal at every inch so you have twelve 1-inch-wide diamonds.
  • Transfer the diamonds to a parchment paper—lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Transferring the cut Makroud to a tray.

DEEP FRYING THE MAKROUD

  • In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 cups oil over medium-high until an instant-read thermometer reads 350°F.
  • orking in small batches, add the diamonds to the oil and fry, flipping once, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Frying the Makroud.

  • Using a slotted spoon, lift the diamonds from the oil and submerge in the honey syrup for 15-30 seconds.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Dipping the fried Makroud in the Orange Blossom Sugar Syrup.

  • Lift the diamonds from the syrup, transfer to a rack.
  • Dip or sprinkle with sesame seeds.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Dipping the fried Makroud in Sesame seeds.

  • Transfer the pastries to a large serving platter
  • Optional: Pour any remaining syrup around the pastries on the platter.
  • Store any remaining pastries in an airtight container, covered in the remaining honey syrup, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Makroud–A Date Filled Semolina Cookie The Finer Cookie

  • Check out this beautiful North African recipe by Hilary of Cocoa Bean the Vegetable. Her Roasted Stuffed Eggplant is super favourable! Don't miss it!
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Roasted Stuffed Eggplant The Finer Cookie

  • Then, check out this exquisite Chicken Bastilla by Evelyne of CulturEatz . You won't want to miss this absolutely incredibly delicious phyllo pie.
    makroud--a date filled semolina cookie the finer cookie

    Chicken Bastilla The Finer Cookie

6 Comments

  1. Raymund 3 months ago

    I saw this at Cultureatz and I do like the idea of cooking together, This is the first time I head about this cookies and it looks delish

    • Author
      Kimberlie 3 months ago

      Hi Raymund, Thanks so much for your message. Evelyn at Cultureatz is a talented woman with a wonderful blog. Cooking together worked out very well. Hopefully you have a chance to make these cookies. So worth the time. The filling sings with flavour. Keep in touch.

  2. Hilary 3 months ago

    Thank you Kim for hosting, and thank you for showing us the way to make these delicious cookies! I had never deep fried before, but after watching you do it, I think I might just try it 🙂 Gotta get me a deep fry thermometer though!

    And I loved the date-orange filling in your cookies!! 🙂

    • Author
      Kimberlie 3 months ago

      Hilary, Gosh the pleasure was all mine having you. I enjoyed your company. What makes me happy is that you were comfortable in my kitchen.

  3. Evelyne Cultureatz 3 months ago

    Thank you so much Kimberley for opening up your home to us. it was indeed a truly memorable and fun day. And it could not have ended on a sweeter note then with your Makroub, I am already addicted to dates and orange blossom syrups, they were so good!

    • Author
      Kimberlie 3 months ago

      Hi Evelyne, It was a super fun day together. We were all so intuitive with each other, and it made the day stress free. Thanks for your nice words about the Makroud. They were a perfect ending to our North African afternoon!

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