Date Filled Semolina Cookies: Magroodh مقروض ليبي

Magroodh (or Magroud) is the quintessential Libyan biscuit, and is an important part of every Eid. Makroot is the fried variant made in the rest of North Africa, while the Libyan Magroud is baked. Magroodh is made mainly from semolia and has a soft crumbly texture, and the filling combines sesame, cinnamon, nutmeg and dates. The final step of coating the magroud with orange-blossom infused syrup keeps them moist and adds another layer of flavor. Traditionally olive oil is used instead of corn oil, and warm natural honey is used in stead of syrup
3 cups semolina
1 cup flour
1 cup corn oil
11/2 tsp baking powder

1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water 
 added to about 1/2  litre warm water to knead the dough

750g date paste
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds (lightly roasted)
4 cup boilling water
3 cups Sugar
1tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon slice
2 tbsp orange blossom water
1/2 cup sesame seeds (lightly roasted)

Prepare the syrup by simmering all the ingredients on moderate heat for approx. 30 min until they reaches a syrupy consistency.. Add orange blossom and set aside to cool. For a richer taste, add 1 tablespoons of honey while the syrup is still warm. Set aside.

Mix the semolina, flour, baking powder.
Add the oil and mix. Cover and leave it to rest for at least one hour

Cut the date paste into small pieces and knead. Add some olive oil if the paste is not soft enough to be kneaded. Add cinnamon, grated nutmeg, sesame and work them in.

Roll out the sesame date paste with your palm into 4 long ropes. 

Divide the dough into 4 portions, take one portion of the dough and add the orange blossom flavoured  warm water a little at a time. Knead well until the dough becomes smooth and easy to shape. The dough will also   become lighter in colour

  Form the dough into a furrow shape

Place on of the rolls in the bed.

Pinch closed and smoothen the dough over the date roll.

Cut the roll into small pieces, at a slight angle, forming a diamond shape.


Place in a preheated oven at 220°C until golden. It  takes about 12 minutes.

Pour the cold sugar syrup over the  warm magroudh.

Turn the magroodh every 15 minutes, leaving it to soak in the syrup from the front, back and on each side. Remove from the syrup and put in sieve to remove the excess syrup, sprinkle with pan-roasted sesame seeds, and leave to rest (preferably overnight) before serving.

 Serve with tea or Arabic coffee