One of the food groups I didn’t grow to like until my adult years were figs and dates (perhaps it was all the little seeds) – but now I love them. Figs and dates are found commonly as cookie fillings throughout the Mediterranean, and one of the most popular varieties is Ma’amoul from Lebanon. Ma’amoul are sweet semolina flour cookies filled with date paste (the filling may also include pistachios or walnuts), and usually shaped in wooden molds (though they can also be made and decorated by hand, as below). In Lebanon, they are popular around Easter, but they are now popularly eaten in the region to coincide with other holidays as well. So nowadays you can find Ma’amoul pretty much any time of the year! Here is a recipe with variations for date, pistachio and walnut filled Ma’amoul, and a version that combines dates, pistachios and walnuts into a single filling.
Tag Archives: cookie
A few weeks ago we did a feature on the surprising Mexican origins of Modica chocolate in Sicily, which was brought over by the Spaniards. While researching Modica chocolate, we learned of another quirky Modica recipe with a Spanish connection – the ‘Mpanatigghi cookie (Impanatiglie in standard Italian). The word “‘Mpanatigghi” is a Sicilian-ization of the Spanish word “empanada/empanadilla”, and its half-moon shape is certainly empanada-like. The filling of a ‘Mpanatigghi cookie is chocolate, cinnamon and almonds, but also something pretty unusual – a little bit of beef! Sounds pretty weird until you think of savory Oaxacan moles with chocolate-tinged sauce. Perhaps this cookie also has a bit of Mexican influence somewhere? Even being familiar with Sicilian cookies – this unusual concoction is a new one for us – here’s a recipe for the culinary adventurers out there.
Photo from Anita’s Italy
We were doing a search for “German cookies” in Instagram when we came across a series of photos of near-identical cookies with the same fork impressions, with Chinese captions. Come to find out that the name for these Chinese cookies, popular around Lunar New Year, is “German Cookies” (德式酥饼). German cookies require little more than potato starch (which can be found in most Asian groceries) and sugar, and you can find easy recipes at Goody Foodies and Bake for Happy Kids (seen below). As far as I can tell, they have no real association with Germany beyond the name. If anyone has any insight into their unusual name, let me know!
We adore this letterpress biscuit/cracker/cookie (somewhat lost in translation) notebook from Portuguese design shop Serrote. We bought ours at the A Vida Portuguesa kiosk inside the Ribeira Market (post coming soon), and you can buy it online at A Vida Portuguesa as well.