Sunday, March 16, 2008

Apricot Almond Cookies

I recently purchased a mold for making mamoul, a traditional Lebanese cookie. They are a bit like shortbread in texture, and have a date, walnut, or pistachio filling. They are also some of the best cookies I have ever eaten.

The first thing I made using the mold, however was not mamoul at all. I didn't have everything I would need for mamoul, and didn't want to make something with as much fat as mamoul would require. Instead, I came up with these soft almond cookies with an apricot filling. Using the mold was so much fun that I turned right around and used it to make a coconut cookie.

You don't need a mold to make these cookies. It's easy to shape them in your hands, but if you can find one you will have twice as much fun making them. Mine was under 5 dollars at Mona's Cafe; a Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant that also houses a small International market. They just recently opened a location near my house, and not only does it make my life easier to have such convenient access to falafel sandwiches, tahini, grape leaves, split fava beans, giant glass jars of tomato paste, dried figs, mamoul molds, etc., but I think it's important to support small independent ethnic markets and restaurants. My local Vietnamese, Korean, and Middle Eastern markets are usually less expensive then the supermarkets, and shopping there challenges me by introducing me to foods I am unfamiliar with. Now, on to the cookies.

Apricot Almond Cookies

2 Tbsp margarine, softened
1/4 cup soy milk
1 Tbsp flax meal
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup flour ( I used spelt)

Combine everything but the flour and mix well. Stir in the flour. The dough should be firm and dry enough to handle. Add more flour or soy milk if necessary.

For the filling puree some dried apricots with a teaspoon or two of agave nectar and just enough water to moisten and make a paste. Sorry, but I didn't measure any of this. If you make too much it just means you will have to make more cookies!

Lightly flour the mold. Press a small amount of dough into the mold, making an indentation for the filling. Fill the indentation with the apricot filling. Form a disc large enough to cover the filling and press firmly into place so the apricot will stay sealed inside.

Turn the mold over and give a firm tap on the counter or into your hand to release the cookie. If you floured the mold it should come out easily. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling. Make sure to flour the mold each time or the cookies will stick.

Bake at 350 degrees until browned on the bottom. These are tasty as they are or lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Makes approx. 18 cookies.

Sadly, I didn't get a picture...but I gave Nutmeg a bite of one of these cookies, and she gave them her highest rating.


Liz² said...

I've been wanting a mamoul mold for a while now, glad to hear it was so cheap/easy to find! will you post if you make actual mamoul? :D the apricot cookies look great, too.

Mihl said...

I once ate something very similar to this and was looking all over the place for this recipe. Thank you!

The mould looks beautiful!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Those look awesome! I love how you changed the recipe up to suit our needs! Souds so good!

Jenny Wren said...

liz2---I will definitely be posting about some actual mamoul!

mihl---thank you...and you're welcome!


p.s. in real life, i don't speak like everything has an exclamation point---!!

pleasantly plump vegan said...

oooo, beautiful mold! those cookies look so cute and yummy.

Kittee said...

so cool!
i've seen these molds before, but didn't know what kind of cookie to make with them. i'm a gonna scoop up the next one i find and run back to your blog. they are gorgeous. we have several mona's here, i'm assuming it's the same owner, so maybe i can find one soon.


celine said...

this has got to be the coolest thing. ever!

robin said...

argh where did you get the mould? I've been looking for one! I live in the UK though ...

Jenny Wren said...

Robin, I got mine at a small local international market, but I see some online for sale at

I've never ordered from these companies, though. Good luck!

Stella said...

I've got to start baking. Those are ridiculously bijou and delectable.

Anonymous said...

I want to suggest an alternate way to press your mamoul. You are using a two layered method with makes the cookie too thick. You should make both the dough and the filling the size of a hazelnut (in the shell). Flatten the dough in the palm of your hand, add the filling and flatten a little, wrap the dough around the filling then put it into the mould and tap it down to fill the grooves. Depending how sticky your dough is, you may want to add a little flour to prevent sticking. Then turn it and bump it so the cookie falls out. This makes a less thick crust than the two style method.

michelle rossi said...

omgoddess! thank you for showing us how to use that wooden mold...I was given one from a fairy friend...I didnt quite get the picture untill now...on how to use <3 ~'~