Ma'amoul (Arabic: معمول ma‘mūl[mɑʕmuːl]) are small shortbread pastries filled with dates, pistachios or walnuts (or occasionally almonds, figs, or other fillings). They may be in the shape of balls or of domed or flattened cookies. They can either be decorated by hand or be made in special wooden moulds. Ma'amoul with date fillings are often known as menenas, and are sometimes made in the form of date rolls rather than balls or cookies.
Arab Christians eat them in the days before Lent, on Easter Sunday and on the feast of Epiphany. In the Greek and Arab Christian traditions, the cookies are shaped into rings to symbolize the crown of Jesus.
There is a more elaborate version known as Karabij (Kerebiç in Turkish), used on special occasions. In this, nut-filled ma'amoul balls are piled in a pyramid and served with a white cream called Naatiffe made from egg whites, sugar syrup and soapwort (Saponaria officinalis). These are popular in Syria, Lebanon, and other Levantine countries.