There are many different versions of Maamoul one can either buy or bake. These Mediterranean cookies are famous in many countries and are loved by people of all ages. They come in different fillings and forms. All versions are very close to each other in the sense that they are all made from the same ingredients and the same dough, but they mainly differ in their shape and their fillings.
Maamoul are authentic cookies made in many Arabic countries as well as countries outside the Arabic world. In most places they are the most famous cookies among all age groups. They are offered any day and at any time, but mostly as desserts or when someone is craving a sugar treat. They are in high demand in particular in some special times like Eid and Ramadan. They are much healthier than regular cookies because they contain a lot of nuts or dates. This is one of the main reasons why they got very popular. Many times, they are sold in special wrapping so that they last for a long time. If they need to be kept for a long time, they can also be refrigerated.
The traditional type is made of semolina and filled with different nuts or dates. Some of the most popular fillings nuts are pistachios and walnuts. Most people make them into the shape of domes or balls, they can however be shaped in any way desired. Many times each version is shaped differently in order to differentiate it from the rest. Moreover, the pistachios and the walnuts filled version are often covered with powdered sugar. It is a very old dessert that has become a must have in many occasions. During Eid and Christmas, people either buy it to offer it to visitors or bake it at home. It is not that difficult to make, so many have learned how to make it. People like it because they consider it very healthy as it contains many nuts or dates that have high nutritious value.
Another cookie that is very close to Maamoul but has its own intricacies is Karabij. It is made in the same way and from the same ingredients and also has a comparable shape, but it is filled with only pistachios, made into small bite size shape, and always served with a special dipping cream called Natef. Even though most people are familiar with the original form, not everyone has tasted Karabij. It is not as popular and widely spread. Karabij takes a longitudinal shape but it is usually not covered with powdered sugar like the pistachios filled Maamoul. Since it requires dipping, it is usually offered in seated settings, even though this is not a requirement.
These cookies are part of what is called Arabic sweets. These confections contain much more than cookies. They also contain pastries and cakes as well as cheese desserts. One of the most popular categories is that made from phyllo pastries. The different types are collectively called assorted Baklava. They are very popular in most countries and are consumed as desserts. Like Maamoul, they also contain a lot of nuts but they are made from a completely different type of dough and have few different ingredients. While the former is made from flour dough and filled with nuts, the latter is made from semolina dough and can be filled with dates besides the popular nuts filling. They are however both served in similar occasions, and are often offered together. In many occasions, they are both served on the same desserts table. They can be made into large arrangements. They are all found in the same shops and sold together.
Maamoul has been the most desired type of cookie in the Arabic world and many people have learned how to bake it at home. It is a must have dessert in special times like Eid and Christmas.