Mahmoul, those Aleppo Filled Cookies

Published October 5, 2017

A favorite #Aleppo baked sweet are those filled cookies that Sitto made with her Mahmoul molds.
She used those cookie molds throughout her life and now they hang in my kitchen..a reminder of the incredible baking that #Syria’s cooks produced. In fact, growing up so fortunate as to be a child of #Syrian heritage, I learned how famous the cuisine of Aleppo really is!

Our grandmothers, whom we called Sitto in #Arabic, would teach the younger ones how to make these sweets, proudly pulling out the kitchen tools that had been handed down over generations. I don’t know if the #Arab youngsters of today realize it yet, but they have quite a bit of history in their parents’ and grandparents’ kitchens.

I watched as Sitto made what looked like enormous amounts of dough, kneading it and letting it rest, as the kitchen filled with the wonderful aroma of Mahlab spice for these nut-filled baked delights.

After the dough was shaped into a ball, her thumb would make an indentation in it as she turned the ball of dough, slowly forming it into a hollow egg shape. Then they were filled with finely chopped walnuts or pistachios and sealed. She would then take the “egg” of dough and place it into the mold and pat it gently with her palm, allowing the design to imprint the dough. She’d turn the mold over onto her baking tray and there would be the Mahmoul, beautifully imprinted and ready for baking. After baking, they were dusted with confectioners’ sugar and served to delighted family and guests! For the recipe and a picture of those traditional Mahmoul cookie molds, see page 142.