So HERE is how I made the ma'amoul. I wasn't completely satisfied with the recipe, so next time I make it I will modify a little, inshaAllah. Traditionally this is made with a really cool wooden mold, but I don't have one so I just shaped them in my hand and decorated with a fork. Oh and you need to start it the night before!!
1/2 cup shortening
8 tbsp butter
1 cup flour
2 cup semolina
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar (next time I will use a little more)
2 tbsp rose water (next time I will use 1 tbsp rose water, 8 tbsp regular water)
7 tbsp water
(next time I hope to add black seed or mahlab to the dough)
1 1/2 cup chopped dates
5 tbsp butter (next time I will use 3 or 3.5 tbsp butter)
(Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes mashing occasionally, cool before filling. Be careful to not cook too long because it makes the dates tough and gives it a kind of *burned* taste when the butter starts to brown.)
This is what it looks like when you start cooking. I did NOT like the amount of butter in this recipe at this point and next time will use only 3 or 3.5 tbsp butter here.
~melt shortening and butter together and cool a little
~mix flour, semolina, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl
~add melted shortening and butter, mix thoroughly (it should be a little sandy feeling)
~cover with plastic wrap and rest overnight
~add rose water and water mixture to the dough and combine with a fork
~take the filling and make small rolled balls
~mold cookies by wrapping in a layer of the dough and then making marks on top with a fork if you want
~bake at 300-325F until the top is slightly brown (the time varries WIDELY depending on the amount of dough and size of each cookie) If you aren't sure if it's cooked, reach in a squish one. If it is still doughy, it isn't done!
This is what they look like before they go in the oven.
~you can add powdered sugar to the top if you want
I hope this is clear!! Let me know if you have questions or if you tried it!!!