Ka'ak Bi Ajwa (Date Ring Cookies) Palestinian, Middle Eastern

READY IN: 11hrs 15mins
SERVES: 15-20
YIELD: 50 pieces




  • Mix smeed, flour, salt, sugar, and butter/oil in a large pan. Cover and leave for ten hours, or overnight.
  • Dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoons water and a dash of sugar. When it rises, add to smeed mixture.
  • Dissolve mahlab and miska in cold water. Add to smeed mixture.
  • Combine warm water and milk. Pour gradually while mixing all the ingredients together. (Do not knead, just stir the mixture to have a moist crust rather than a dough).
  • Mix dates, nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter in a pan and warm to soften dates. Knead well.
  • Roll dates in 1/3 inch thick balls. Cut a piece of dough, one at a time, the size of a walnut. Spread lengthwise, 4" by 1". Fill with date ball and roll, sealing the sides together to form a ring.
  • Pinch the rings with a cookie tweezer to decorate (so powder sugar will stick to it). Place on baking sheets and bake at 400 degrees in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until light gold. (Place baking sheet on top rack).
  • *NOTE* This is one way to do it, but I also take a round piece of dough, slightly bigger than the date ball, and push my thumb in it, then place the date ball inside and spread the dough around the date ball completely covering it. Then using a ma'amool cookie mold I place the dough with the date inside in the mold and tap the mold upside down so the finished cookie will fall out. Baking instructions are the same for either variation!
  • When cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar. When completely cool, freeze or store in tightly covered jars.