Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...
With memories of her beloved “teta” (“grandmother” in Lebanese) inspiring her delicious Lebanese recipes and fruitful time in the kitchen, food blogger and Lebanese Chef Joumana Accad, is passionate about bringing the love of family cooking and traditional Lebanese dishes to home cooks across the U.S. through her blog site, TasteofBeirut.com. Here are three of Accad’s Easter recipes that she hopes you will share with your family on this special holiday.
Semolina Cookies with Date Paste (Ma'amoul)
Makes about 50 cookies
"We knew Easter was coming when my teta was busy in the kitchen making these," says Accad. "I was told that their shape is a representation of Jesus' crown of thorns and the stones thrown at Him."
In a large bowl, mix the semolina and cream of wheat (farina), and sugar.
Melt 4 sticks of the butter; add melted butter to the semolina mixture and mix well.
Add the milk, orange blossom water, and rose water; mix well and let mixture rest for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Knead the dough for a few minutes, by hand or in a mixer with the paddle attachment, until the dough feels smooth, shiny, and easy to shape into logs.
On a marble or granite counter, place a large sheet of wax paper; place a fistful of dough on it and put another piece of wax paper on top of it. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough and shape it into a long rectangle.
Knead date paste to loosen it; place it in a food processor and add up to the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter while processing to make it more malleable.
Form paste into a rope about 1/3-inch thick and place the rope directly on the dough. Using the wax paper, roll the log enclosing the date paste.
Roll out the log on the marble counter and roll it with the bottom of your wrist back and forth until it thins out to your liking. Cut the rope into individual cookies, each about 4-inches long; bring the ends together to form a ring.
Place the cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake until cookies are golden and the dough feels dry. Cool the cookies and keep in a tin for 2 weeks or more. They can also be frozen for about 1 month.