- To save time when cooking the chickpeas for the fattet hummus, soak them overnight in water mixed with 1 tsp. baking soda: the alkalinity of the soda breaks down the beans' cellular walls and reduces the cooking time.
- You can make the dough and filling for the cookies ahead of time. After mixing the dough, form it into a disk, wrap it, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Purée the filling, form it into balls, and refrigerate them, wrapped, on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet until you're ready to form the cookies. If you like, you can use a traditional ma'amoul cookie mold to make them.
- In the fall, Kassab's family serves these dishes flooded with new-season olive oil from the October olive harvest. For a selection of Lebanese olive oils to serve in your own kitchen, see our 4 favorite bottles »
- To read more about the autumn olive harvest in Lebanon, see Kassab's story for our October 2014 issue, Home for the Harvest.