So the first time was a fail...but its time to try again! I went back to the store and bought cornmeal for today’s attempt at the Makrouts. The Youtube video I used last time was helpful, and I followed the instructions the women suggested pretty closely. The only change I made in my previous attempt was to use semolina flour instead of cornmeal as semolina was what my family would use when they made Makrouts. I decided this time that maybe I needed to do exactly what the women in the video demonstrated, including using the same ingredients. So I went back to Sprouts and bought cornmeal. I threw in some dark chocolate, beef jerky, peanut butter, and macaroons as well. I needed some backups in case the Macrouts didn’t work out again. There is really nothing like devoting your entire afternoon to baking and then not having anything edible to show for it.
So I went through the steps again. I steamed and pitted the dates. I measured the cornmeal and slowly added the oil and water. I think the first time around, I did not get the dough to the same consistency as the video had shown. This time, I really took my time kneeing the dough, so that every part of it was saturated in oil and orange blossom water. After about 15 minutes, the dough really began to take shape and resemble the woman’s dough in the Youtube video. I was starting to get excited. I then spread the dough into snake like shapes and filled them with the date paste. Things were looking good. I cut the log of date filled dough into diamond shapes. They looked pretty identical to the video, and I was feeling confident.
Now for the deep frying. Last time I deep fried the cookies, they burned quickly and disintegrated before my eyes. To prevent this from happening again and to prevent my family from having to undergo another evening of inhaling the smells of a burning kitchen, I decided to take caution by reading several articles on deep frying. My problem seemed to be (according to the articles) that I did not have the oil temperature right. I remember from my last attempt that it felt near impossible to determine if the oil was hot enough to start frying. I had waited too long and the oil got too hot. So when I put the cookies in, they quickly burned. A tip one article gave me was to stick a wooden spoon in the oil, and when bubbles surround the spoon, this meant the oil was the right temperature, The good old spoon trick seemed to work and so I started deep frying.
Unfortunately, I think I made a mistake by frying the cookies in a Teflon pan. When I dropped them in, they quickly fell apart and burned. I was left with a pile of burnt corn meal, and little date droppings that were stripped of their corn meal coating. Another failed attempt at the Makouts. I was pretty frustrated, because the parts that were not burned almost tasted like Makrouts. I am going to try again with a metal pan and a new recipe. I do not think the one I am using is going to work. These cookies have been way harder than I thought they would be!