How to make dates cookies makrout wtih honey ! 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.
The easy and super simple recipe to make dates filled cookies and honey makrouts! They are super crispy and melting at the same time with a soft date center.
How to make them, fried or baked? Everything you need to know to succeed in this very popular North African pastry.
Dates cookies are certainly the most famous oriental pastry of all "the makrouts" with a crumbly and melting texture with a tasty dough with dates and coated with honey and tasted with a mint tea.
This diamond-shaped pastry has its origins in the Maghreb, specifically Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. It is prepared 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 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. Others 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 figs.
Useful tools to make dates cookies
- Makrout stamps, optional but useful to have makrouts of the same size and diamond shaped.
- Baking sheet, if you choose the oven method.
- Frying pan or deep fryer for oil cooking.
The basic ingredient for making makrout is medium wheat semolina. In some recipes you can have a mixture of medium and fine wheat semolina, or a mixture of semolina and flour that will give an even more sandy and melting dough.
In the Maghreb we use smen, it is a clarified butter also called ghee. It is the ideal fat in this recipe of fried makrout, because it would support much better the high temperatures.
But you can also use sweet unsalted butter to make this recipe.
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.
After adding the water, do not knead the dough too much to avoid the development of the gluten which would give a too elastic dough and we would lose all the grains of the semolina which gives this crumbly and crunchy texture in mouth.
Orange flower water
Very used in oriental pastry recipes, it gives a delicate scent of bitter orange and blends wonderfully with sweet recipes.
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, organic and real especially, because very often the oriental pastries are soaked with a mixture of glucose syrup flavored with honey.
Liquid vanilla extract
Pure liquid vanilla extract delicately flavors all sweet recipes.
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
How to make dates cookies makrout
Preparation of the dough
- Mix the wheat semolina with the melted butter in a large 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 makrout)
- Cover with cling film or a tea towel and let rest at room temperature.
Preparation of the date filling
You can use a date paste or make your own with pitted and choped dates.
- Mix together the date mixture with the orange blossom water and the liquid vanilla.
- Let the filling rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, covered with cling film.
- 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 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 175°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the makrouts tightly together on the baking sheet. (to avoid burning the date filling).
- Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Heat the honey with the orange blossom water in a saucepan.
- Dip the makrout in the hot honey mixture and let them soak for a few minutes.
- Drain the makrout on a cake rack or in a colander to remove excess honey.
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 confectionner sugar.
How to store dates filled cookies makrout
Makrout can be stored for a long time at room temperature. They should be placed in a storage box with an airtight lid.
How to make makrout in video
Don't forget to tag me @sweetlycakes on Instagram if you make my honey date makrtou recipe and add a link to my recipe if you share it on your blog 😉
- 500 g Medium wheat semolina
- 160 g sweet butter - melted
- 100 g water
- 30 g orange blossom water
- 1 pinch salt
- 300 g Date paste
- 10 g Butter - melted
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract - liquid
- 250 ml honey
- 2 tbsp orange blossom water
- Start by placing the medium wheat semolina in a large bowl.
- Then add the melted butter and mix with your hands to incorporate it well.
- Cover with a cloth and let rest for at least 1 hour.
- Finally add the other ingredients, the water, the orange blossom water and the pinch of salt and mix with your hands until you obtain a smooth dough (be careful not to work the dough too much as it may lose its texture, you should be able to feel the grains of semolina).
- Cover the dough and let it rest while you prepare the stuffing.
- Use date paste or pitted and mixed fresh dates.
- Mix together the date paste with the orange blossom water and vanilla and let it rest in the chill for about 30 minutes.
- Take one half of the dough and form a sausage of about 25 cm long.
- Dig into the center of the sausage with your fingers.
- Incorporate in the hollow the date paste and close the semolina paste on the date paste to enclose it in the center.
- Roll the dough roll with the date paste in the center again to smooth it out and stretch it out a bit until it is about 5 - 6 cm in diameter.
- Use the date stamp to mark the makrout or flatten the roll with your hands and cut out diamonds.
- Place your makrouts on a baking sheet and let them rest for about 20 minutes.
- Use a deep fryer or a frying pan filled with neutral oil to cook the makrout until they are golden brown.
- Place the fried makrout on paper towels.
- Heat the honey with the orange blossom water in a small saucepan.
- Dip the makrouts in the mixture for a few minutes, then let them drain on a cake rack to allow the excess honey to drip off.