Prepare the three fillings by mixing the ingredients for each in a bowland set aside. For the date filling, knead the dates with the butter untilsoft. Break off a piece and roll into a log about 10 cm long. Bring theends together to form a ring shape of about a 4 cm diameter. Proceeduntil all are done and set aside.
In a large bowl put the semolina, sugar and and mahlab and mixwell. Pour in the melted butter and mix in with your fingertips coatingcompletely. Sprinkle on the yeast and sugar to incorporate. Graduallypour in the slightly warmed milk and mix until it forms a dough. It shouldbe soft and pliable, and not sticky. You may not use all of the milk.
For the nut-filled maamoul, take a piece of dough of about the size ofa walnut and cup it in one hand. With your thumb poke a hole in thecentre to make a well. Using your thumb on the inside and your indexfinger on the outside, work the dough upwards to thin it out graduallyinto a shell. Place a teaspoonful of the nut filling in the well. Bring theedges together to cover the filling completely. Smooth out and turnover the filled pastry. With the pincher proceed to decorate the shellwithout piercing and exposing the filling. Make your pistachio-filled onesoval and your walnut-filled ones round. Place on a baking sheet.
For the date-filled maamoul, take a walnut-sized piece of dough andflatten in the palm of your hand. Place a prepared date ring in thecenter and fold the edges over to enclose completely towards thecentre. Follow the shape of the date ring and pinch the centre to makea hole in the middle. It will look like a filled doughnut. Turn the seamside down. Grab hold of the pastry in one hand and proceed to use thepincher to decorate (see above). Place on a baking sheet
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Bake for about 15–20 minutes. The maamoul should only be slightlycoloured. Remove and cool completely before dusting with icing sugar.Store cooled pastries in an airtight container without the icing sugar.