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side view of maamoul date squares

Date Ma'amoul Mad Bars

  • Author: Samara
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 16 squares 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


These date ma'amoul mad bars are perfectly crumbly on the outside but rich and sweet with a date layer on the inside. Basically, these are the easy version of ma'amoul cookies.



Ma'amoul Mixture

  • 2 cups semolina
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • optional: 1/2 tsp mahlab powder 
  • optional: 1 tbsp each of sesame and nigella seeds

Date Layer

  • 2 1/2 cups date paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rosewater 
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom


  1. Mix the dry ingredients together except for the yeast. 
  2. Melt the ghee with the olive oil in the microwave, then add to the dry ingredients and rub with your hands until you have a wet sand texture.
  3. Add the warm milk to the yeast in another bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes, then pour it into the semolina mixture and knead by hand until you have a dough (it will be on the drier side, but if you feel like it's too dry, add some more milk). Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. 
  4. If making the date paste from scratch, blend 2 1/2 cups of pitted dates with 3 to 4 tablespoons of hot water using a hand immersion blender.
  5. Mix the date paste with cardamom and rosewater. 
  6. After 30 minutes, divide the dough roughly in half, and transfer one half to a greased baking pan (around 8"x8" (20 cm x 20 cm) or slightly larger), and press the dough in firmly with your hands. 
  7. Spread the date layer evenly on top.
  8. Add sesame and nigella seeds to the other half of the dough (sesame and nigella seeds are optional), and crumble it on top of the date layer. Press the crumbled ma'amoul dough gently until the date layer is completely covered.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 ℉ (180 ℃) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden. 
  10. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.


  • You can use a larger pan if you want them slightly thinner, but not larger than 10"x10" (25 cm x 25 cm)or an equivalent. 
  • Make sure your milk is slightly warmer than room temperature and not too hot or it will kill the yeast. 
  • Adjust the amount of sugar depending on your taste. 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


  • Serving Size: 1 square
  • Calories: 258 calories
  • Sugar: 20 g
  • Sodium: 4 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 9 mg

Keywords: ma'amoul, ma'amoul recipe, ma'amoul bars, ma'amoul date squares, date recipe, maamoul, maamoul mad, maamoul cookies, Palestinian dessert recipes, middle eastern dessert, date crumble bars

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