MA’AMOOL B’JOWZ (Easter Walnut cakes)
Makes: 12-13 small cakes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 ½ lb (750g) semolina
1 cup sugar
1 lb (500g) butter
1 lb (500g) fresh walnut pieces
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon rosewater
¼ cup cold water
2 cups icing sugar
Place the semolina and sugar in a large bowl and mix together thoroughly.
Melt the butter and bring it to the boil, then gradually blend it into the semolina and sugar mixture. Knead well, and then set aside in an airtight container for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
Knead the mixture again, pouring in enough boiling water to make a soft pliable dough. (It is a good idea to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat.)
Crush the walnuts into very small pieces and mix in the sugar.
Add the rosewater to the cold water and mix into the walnut and sugar mixture.
Mould the pastry into small balls about 2 in (5cm) in diameter. Hollow out the centre of each ball with your index finger by pressing around the inside of the ball to make a shell about ¼ in (7mm) thick.
Fill the hollow shell with the filling mixture and close the top of the shell by pressing the dough together.
Flatten the shell into a pie shape by pressing lightly between the palms of hands. Make a design on top with the side and prongs of a fork. (A special mould called a taabeh can be used if you prefer.)
Place the cakes on a baking tray and cook in a very hot oven, 450oF (230oC) until lightly browned – approx 20 minutes.
Sprinkle sifted icing sugar generously over the top of the cakes. Store in airtight containers.