Bread and Pastry, Desserts, Palestinian Cuisine

Palestinian Makrouta

Makrouta cookies packed with fennel, anise, and cardamom.

golden makrouta cookies with crunchy texture on the outside and chewy on the inside
Look at this beauty!


What Is Palestinian Makrouta?


Palestinian date pinwheel cookies topped with toasted sesame seeds served in a bowl alongside dates
These will be your go-to midday snack.

What You Will Need

To make the authentic Palestinian Makrouta, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Dough:

Flour

Fine semolina

Sugar

Yeast

Warm milk

Ghee

Olive oil

Nigella seeds

Sesame seeds

Maamoul/Ka’ak spice

Ground mastic

Ground mahlab

For the Date-Filling:

Date paste

Ka’ak spice

Ground mahlab

Butter

Ghee (samneh)

If you don’t have Maamoul or Ka’ak spice, then you can make your own blend by mixing the following ingredients:

Anise

Fennel

Cardamom


golden makrouta cookies topped with toasted sesame seeds served in a bowl alongside dates
Baked Palestinian pinwheelcookies filled with date paste.

Steps to Prep

To Prepare the Dough

First, add all the dry ingredients together and mix well.

Then, add the liquids slowly, mixing in between, and mix until soft ball forms.

Now, cover and let it rise in a warm place until larger in size for about 1-1½ hours.

To Make the Date-Filling

First, mix the melted butter and ghee and add them along with the spices.

Next, mix and knead until soft and not as sticky.

To Assemble the Makrouta

When it’s time, spread the dough into a really thin rectangle on top of a sprayed flat surface. You don’t want it to be paper thin or too thick.

After that, spread a thin layer of dates on the top and begin rolling. Roll 3 or 4 times, then cut it into long rolls.

Later on, cut each long roll into smaller pieces. Place the small pieces on a lined baking sheet.

Last but not least, bake for about 10-15 minutes at 425 F, on the rack on top of the direct heat.

Finally, transfer to the top rack for a few minutes to get golden. If you don’t want a golden color, you can completely skip this step.

For another look, brush the cut-up Makrouta with a bit of milk and dip it in toasted sesame seeds.



Enjoy Your Palestinian Makrouta Cookies

These Palestinian Date Cookies are the best on-the-go snack after a long, eventful day. You can enjoy them while watching a movie, or even after your afternoon naps!

Makrouta cookies are also perfect for special occasions, such as holidays, weddings, and birthdays.

Middle Eastern people like to make them during Ramadan, Eid El Fitr, and Eid El Adha. These cookies are so healthy and nutritious that they can be enjoyed at suhoor.

Palestinian date pinwheel cookies are perfect when you want to impress your guests. So pair them with hot Middle Eastern Mint Tea, Karak Chai, or hot Turkish coffee and enjoy!


Palestinian pinwheel cookies slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside
Enjoy the heavenly flavor.

Other Ultimate Date-Filled Snacks

You can also enjoy other date-filled pastries! Palestinian Ka’ak, Maamoul (Date Filled Cookies), and Date-Filled Brioche Buns are such unique pastries that will take you to another world of flaky texture and soft filling.

If you are looking for a healthy date snack to boost your energy, then you have to try the Date Energy Balls. Trust me, these will provide you with the necessary energy that will help kickstart your day.


Variations


Makrouta cookies packed with fennel, anise, and cardamom
A batch of makrouta cookies will be your favorite snack.

Tips for Best Results

Sift the dry ingredients well when adding them to the rest of the wet ingredients.

Make sure to cover the dough with aluminum foil and let it rise in a warm place.

Let your long roll dough rest for about 25 minutes before shaping it into small pieces.

Preheat your oven before baking Makrouta cookies for about 5 minutes to 425 F.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleaning after baking.

Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet with unbaked Makrouta. Otherwise, they will not bake well.

Use a cookie cutter or sharp knife to cut the long roll into small pieces.


Date-Filled Snack packed with fennel, anise, and cardamom
Irresistible date pinwheel cookies perfect for Ramadan!

Storage Tips


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I know if the dough is ready to be used?

When the texture of your dough becomes shaggy, then you can start using it.

I don’t have date paste; can I use dry dates instead?

Soak the dry dates in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them. After that, drain the water and pat dry the dates. This way, the dates will smoothly blend with the other filling ingredients.

How can I make Palestinian Makrouta vegan?

To make vegan Makrouta, you need to substitute ghee and butter with vegan butter, and milk with plant-based milk such as oat milk, coconut, or cashew milk.


Other Traditional Must-Try Desserts:

Mushabak Halabi (Middle Eastern Churros)

Hilbeh | Fenugreek Cake

Palestinian Sesame Tea Cookies

Halawat el Jibn (Sweet Cheese Rolls)

Qatayef Asafiri (Middle Eastern Cream-Filled Pancakes)

Authentic Palestinian Knafeh

Ashta, Middle Eastern Clotted Cream

Layali Lubnan (Lebanese Nights Dessert)

Aish El Saraya Dessert

Middle Eastern Rice Pudding (Riz Bi Haleeb)


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


Date-filled cookies packed with fennel, anise, and cardamom

Palestinian Makrouta

Fatimah
Makrouta cookies are aromatic, filled with dates, and packed with fennel, anise, and cardamom. The result of this combination is rich, flaky, and addictive golden gems!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine Palestinian
Servings 19
Calories 3998 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Dough:

  • 2⅓ cups flour
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • cups warm milk
  • ¼ cup ghee melted
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • tablespoons nigella seeds toasted
  • tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
  • 3 tablespoons maamoul/ka’ak spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mastic optional
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mahlab optional

For the Date-Filling:

  • 2 packages date paste
  • 1 tablespoon ka’ak spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground mahlab
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon ghee melted

Instructions
 

To Prepare the Dough

  • Add all the dry ingredients together and mix well.
  • Add the liquids slowly, mixing in between, and mix until soft ball forms.
  • Cover and let it rise in a warm place until larger in size for about 1-1½ hours.

To Prepare the Date-Filling

  • Mix the melted butter and ghee and add them along with the spices.
  • Mix and knead until soft and not as sticky.

To Assemble the Makrouta

  • When it's time, spread the dough into a really thin rectangle on top of a sprayed flat surface. You don't want it to be paper thin or too thick.
  • Spread a thin layer of dates on the top and begin rolling. Roll 3 or 4 times, then cut it into long rolls.
  • Cut each long roll into smaller pieces. Place the small pieces on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 425 F, on the rack on top of the direct heat.
  • Transfer to the top rack for a few minutes to get golden. If you don’t want a golden color, you can completely skip this step.

Notes

  • If you don’t have Maamoul or Ka’ak spice, then you can make your own blend by mixing the following ingredients: 2 tablespoons of anise, 2 tablespoons of fennel, and 1 teaspoon of cardamom.
  • Sift the dry ingredients well when adding them to the rest of the wet ingredients.
  • Make sure to cover the dough with aluminum foil and let it rise in a warm place.
  • Let your long roll dough rest for about 25 minutes before shaping it into small pieces.
  • Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet with unbaked Makrouta. Otherwise, they will not bake well.
  • For another look, you can brush the cut-up makrouta with a bit of milk and dip it in toasted sesame seeds.

Nutrition

Calories: 3998kcalCarbohydrates: 259gProtein: 13gFat: 328gSaturated Fat: 97gPolyunsaturated Fat: 29gMonounsaturated Fat: 189gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 274mgSodium: 384mgPotassium: 188mgFiber: 9gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 1401IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 555mgIron: 19mg
Keyword Date Pinwheel Cookies, Makrouta, Palestinian Date Pinwheel Cookies, Palestinian Pinwheel Cookie
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

5 thoughts on “Palestinian Makrouta

  1. Malak says:

    5 stars
    So we’re a family that eats maamoul, kaak and all that year round. Let me tell you that your maamoul + kaak and makrouta recipes are literally the best recipes we have ever tried. Im afraid to make them at some point for Eid, because I think we’d finish them all before!

  2. Khadija says:

    5 stars
    Tried this today. Easy to follow step by step recipe. It is my first time making makrouta. Tastes so good! Surely my visitors this coming eid will love it too!!

  3. Isabelle Wynn says:

    5 stars
    What size are the date packages?

    1. Fatimah says:

      13oz!

  4. Yasin says:

    Thank you for making me discover the Palestinian equivalent of the Algerian/Tunisian “makroud”. The only difference is that we put them in honey after baking or frying (I prefer the baked version, which is the speciality of my city in Algeria, Constantine). We also give them a losange shape. Thanks again. Will try it for Eid this year.

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