Tag Archives: cookies

Making Mamool

The mold. It's wooden and the design inside signifies that this one is for dates

The mold. It’s wooden and the design inside signifies that this one is for dates

Forgive me for the spelling. This cookie has very special meaning for me. I made it over Christmas, but it is not a Christmas cookie. It is a memory. This cookie honors my Grandmother and all of the ways she taught me to love people from various backgrounds through her own friendships with many people–including the Syrian family who owned a restaurant in Pittsburgh. The family bought from our store so we ate there now and then–without my father, because he did not like lamb–their specialty. After dinner, my mother would go to the count

the dough. Needs to rest 2 hours to overnight

the dough. Needs to rest 2 hours to overnight

the raw cookies on a silpat, already stuffed with walnuts and dates

the raw cookies on a silpat, already stuffed with walnuts and dates

after the snowfall--cooked, cooled, and sugared

after the snowfall–cooked, cooled, and sugared

er to pay and my grandma would chat with the owner’s mother, another grandma. I was, of course, fascinated by the cookies in the counter display by the register. (The restaurant served triple duty as a Middle eastern Pastry shop and tea parlor). The other Grandma would always offer me a cookie–to take home because I never had room for dessert after the wonderful lamb (my favorite meat) dinners. Grandma’s friend told me the name of each cookie. I knew the baclava and liked it, but the powdered sugar of the mamool always drew me. I never learned the code–the design on the top tells you if they are date filled or walnut filled or something else, but I was never disappointed since I love all of those things.

I bought a mold in Pittsburgh’s Stripp District (fruits and veggies and ethnic markets) for “date” mamool. I transgressed the code and filled mine with dates and nuts. The recipe  was something else. I looked up recipes online ( I made some years ago but they had too much rosewater in them and I didn’t like them). My Syrian friend Muna contributed her recipe and I followed it with a few slight alterations. But with the mold, my friend Muna’s encouragement, and the thought of my Grandma close in my heart–even though I appeared to be alone, I enjoyed the company of my dear departed, my friend so far away, and the knowledge that my daughter would love these since they are full of sugar. Women laughing–past , present, future. Friends. Loved ones.

So, share with me now, the pictorial saga of my cookie making venture that stretched across cultures and across time to bring something sweet into the world. If only people’s thoughts could be as good.

Cookie Monster

Today is my day for recipes–but oh my, all I can think about is cookies–we still have loads, my neighbor jsut brought me more and I cannot face making more.

My next project is to make pignoli nut cookies–but not tomorrow. Probably will wait until Valentine’s day to make those.

Tomorrow is my birthday–no cake unless I make one–and I am leaning toward an almond cake this year with a new recipe our neighbor gave me and a special swedish pan–that my aunt gave me.

How can I make a cake with such a backlog of sweets still awaiting munching?

I’ve frozen cookies. I’ve given dozens away. But like the tree that is still not completely down, Christmas is cookies for me and I hate to see them all go.

But tomorrow IS ny birthday so we shall see–a cake may yet make its way “into the mix”, all puns intended.

Cookie Countdown

My plan for Christmas cookies was interrupted by a long session with our computer expert–I am about to start on the almond crescents. But key tot he plan is not trying to do more in one day than is reasonable for you–better to space out the baking.

Although I made a few that keep well ahead, I waited until the week before–Monday night we made pizzelle–Joe and I.

Monday afternoon was ginger cookies and the dough for ginger cutouts.

Tuesday I made the ginger cut outs. Had a lot of other things to do outside of the house too.

Wednesday–date bars finished before the computer guy came. Now time for the almond crescents.

Tomorrow is pretzel caramel thumb prints.

Friday is for pignoli nut cookies

The list helps me remember what I need to make and to remind me of what I need to have on hand to bake them!

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