Yosef Masilati's Magrood cookies. Photography: Ronen Mangan, styling: Amit Farber
Yosef Masilati's Magrood cookies. Photography: Ronen Mangan, styling: Amit Farber

Magrood – Date-Filled Semolina Cookies

A popular dessert in Tripoli, Libya's capital city, magrood are the juiciest and, by far the most festive, Tunisian cookies

Ingredients for Magrood - Date-filled semolina cookies

For the Date Filling:

  • ½ cup (250 ml) corn oil
  • 1.1 lbs (500 grams) date spread
  • 1 cup (100 grams) walnuts roasted and chopped
  • ¾ cup (100 grams) Sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Baharat Tripolitanian, if you can find it (Middle Eastern spice mixture)

For the Dough:

  • 2.2 lbs (1 kilogram) semolina
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • grated orange peel from one orange
  • 1 ½ cups (360 ml) orange juice
  • oil for frying

For the Sugar Syrup:

  • 5 cups (1 kilogram) Sugar
  • 3 cups (720 ml) water
  • 1 cup (240 ml) orange juice

For Decorating:

  • Sesame seeds toasted


Prepare the Date Filling:

  • 1. Heat the oil and date spread in a pot and cook over a low flame until the dates soften. Remove from the heat and stir together with the remaining filling ingredients. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the Dough:

  • 2. Mix the semolina, oil, sugar and orange zest until homogenous. Divide the dough into 4 parts, cover with a towel and set aside.

  • 3. Place one part of the dough in a bowl. Slowly pour one quarter of the orange juice over it, kneading until the dough is pliable and homogeneous.

Assemble and cook:

  • 4. Roll out that part of the dough and flatten it into a rectangle around ¼-inch (5 mm) thick. Spread one quarter of the filling over the entire rectangle, excluding a strip about 1¼-inches (3cm) wide along one of the lengthwise edges. Roll the long sides of the rectangle over the filling to form a cylinder, finishing on the edge with no filling. Transfer to the freezer. Repeat the process with the remaining three parts of the dough. Leave each cylinder in the freezer for about 30 minutes until solidified but not frozen. Slice each cylinder into biscuits less than ½-inch (1 cm) thick.

  • 5. Heat some oil in a pot for deep frying. Fry the biscuits in batches, for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Do not over-crowd the pan.

  • 6. In the meantime, cook all the syrup ingredients in a large saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat and continue cooking at a light boil. Transfer the biscuits to the saucepan and cook them in the syrup for about 5 minutes. Here, too, it should be done in batches. Remove the biscuits with a slotted spoon and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. The biscuits can be kept for up to one month in the freezer and for a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Make sure to separate layers with plastic wrap.

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An important tip: because the semolina tends to absorb liquid quickly, the orange juice should not be added all at once, but rather to one part of the dough at a time. Otherwise, by the time we get to frying the semolina, it will have absorbed all the juice and the dough will fall apart in the pan.

This recipe is courtesy of “Hashulchan” website.

*שמנו לב שחסרים כמה פרטים קטנים להשלמת הפרופיל שלך ב־FOODISH, אפשר להוסיף אותם בקלות בעמוד המשתמש שלך.