How to make dates cookies makrout wtih honey ! This a super easy recipe to make this very popular oriental pastry with a crispy, crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth texture. With all the flavor of a homemade date paste and soaked in honey to enjoy with mint tea.
Date filled cookies
Date cookies are certainly the most famous oriental pastry with a crumbly and melting texture filled with a homemade date paste and coated with syrup made with honey and orange blossom water.
This diamond-shaped pastry has its origins in the Maghreb, specifically Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco or it is called makrout.
Date cookies are made for special occasions such as the Eid holidays in Muslims but also for celebrations and weddings.
Composed mainly of wheat semolina flavored with orange blossom water, a filling of dates reduced to a paste mixture and soaked in honey.
There are several varieties of makrout depending on the country, especially in the mode of cooking, here it is fried in oil while we also know a lighter version with the makrout baked.
Other recipes of date cookies are covered with granulated sugar or powdered sugar.
They contain a filling of date paste while other varieties are prepared with an almond paste or a fig mixture.
- Wheat semolina: The basic ingredient for making makrout is medium wheat semolina.
- Butter: Use if possible a clarified butter also called ghee, it would support much better the high temperatures. But you can simply replace it with unsalted butter.
- Water: The water serves as a binder, it will wet the semolina and help it form a dough with a homogeneous texture, smooth and easy to handle.
- Orange blossom water : Very used in oriental pastry recipes, it gives a delicate scent of bitter orange and blends wonderfully with sweet recipes.
- Liquid vanilla extract : Pure liquid vanilla extract delicately flavors all sweet recipes.
- Salt: A small pinch of salt to bring out all the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Cinnamon, many recipes contain cinnamon powder added to the dough and also to the filling. This is optional if you like the scent of cinnamon.
- Sesame seeds : , added to the date stuffing, they provide a crunchy texture or sprinkled on.
A date paste that I advise you to prepare yourself and you will see the difference in texture and taste. You can then choose the best fruits to make your homemade date paste.
- Honey: Honey, organic and real especially, because very often the oriental pastries are soaked with a mixture of glucose syrup flavored with honey.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make dates cookies makrout
1 - Make the semolina dough
- Mix the wheat semolina with the melted butter in a large mixing bowl with your hands to wet the semolina and soak the butter well.
- Let the semolina and butter mixture rest covered with a cloth for at least 1 hour.
- Add the liquid ingredients, water, orange blossom water and a pinch of salt and mix with your hands until the dough comes together and forms a homogeneous ball of dough (avoid
- kneading the dough too much so that it remains crumbly for crispy date cookies)
- Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rest at room temperature.
2 - Date filling
You can use a date paste or make your own with pitted and chopped dates.
- Mix together the date mixture with the orange blossom water and the liquid vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
- Let the filling rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap.
Tip: You can add chopped nuts like chopped pecans to the filling for added texture.
3 - Assembly
- Work half of the dough on a work surface. (Add a little water if necessary, if the dough cracks too much).
- Shape the dough into a ball with your hands, about 25 cm long.
- Dig into the center of the dough with your fingers to form a hollow.
- Roll some date paste between your hands and place it in the hollow of the semolina paste.
- Fold the semolina dough over the date dough to enclose it in the center.
- Roll the dough to smooth it and stretch it out until it forms a sausage of about 30-35 cm long and 5-6 cm in diameter.
- Use the makrout stamp to mark the dough, (or flatten it with the palm of your hands).
- Cut out diamond shapes with a knife.
- Move the makrout to a baking sheet and let rest for about 20 minutes before baking.
- Repeat these steps for the remaining half of the dough.
Baking in oil
- Heat neutral oil in a deep fryer or frying pan at medium heat.
- Cook the date cookies makrout for about 2 minutes until they are a nice amber color.
- Let the makrout rest on paper towels to absorb the oil.
Baking in the oven
- Preheat oven to 347°F / 175°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the date cookies tightly together on the baking sheet. (to avoid burning the date filling).
- Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and let them cool completely before coating them with honey.
- Heat the honey with the orange blossom water in a saucepan.
- Dip the date cookies in the hot honey mixture and let them soak for a few minutes.
- Drain the date cookie on a wire rack or in a colander to remove excess honey.
Tip: The honey bath is optional, you can also simply wet them with a mixture of water and orange blossom and coat them with granulated sugar or powdered sugar.
Store and freeze
Room temperature: Date cookies Makrout can be stored for 1-2 weeks at room temperature, and placed in an airtight container with a lid to protect from humidity.
Freeze: Placed in conservation bags or in a box you can keep the date cookie up to 3 months in the freezer, let them thaw gently at room temperature.
More Oriental pastries
- Gazelle horns cookies
- Turkish baklava
- Baklava cheesecake
- Morrocan Semolina pancake
- Moroccan Chebakia Cookies
More date recipes
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