Maqroud, Maqrud, Makroud, Le Kef sweets recipe

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FOR THE DOUGH
3 cups medium semolina
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped roasted almonds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
FOR THE FILLING
12 ounces date paste or ground pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup roughly chopped almonds

FOR FRYING AND SERVING

Vegetable oil, for frying

1 cup honey, for dipping
2 tablespoons orange flower water or water.
1. To make the dough: In a mixing bowl, combine semolina, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and almonds. Add oil and 1 cup water, mixing by hand and shaping to form a ball. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. To make the filling: In a mixing bowl, combine the dates, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and almonds, mixing to form a ball.

3. Take a piece of filling about the size of a walnut and mold into a plump oval. Take a slightly smaller piece of dough, flatten it and wrap the filling entirely with it, pinching closed. Continue until dough and filling are used up.

4. Place a heavy frying pan over medium heat, and add enough oil to come 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the sides. Working in batches, fry the makroud for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown, turning carefully using two spoons. Drain on paper towels. In a small bowl, combine honey and orange flower water. Dip each makroud into the mixture.

Yield: About 3 dozen small pastries.

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