Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Egyptian Date Crescents #CreativeCookieExchange

These melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crescents are filled with sweet and sticky dates then covered in powdered sugar. 

My Creative Cookie Exchange group is celebrating spring around the world today, with recipes for Easter, Purim, Passover and more. Searching online for cookie recipes is often a rabbit hole of no return, but I managed come back this time with these Egyptian date crescents that the author said she and her mother always made for her father for Easter.  In fact, Easter is celebrated in a big way in Egypt, which surprised me when we lived in Cairo. The Coptic Christians are a minority, but they are a very vocal and visible influence in life there, where they live side by side, for the most part quite peaceably, with their Muslim neighbors.

Adapted from What She’s Having.

Ingredients - makes 2 dozen cookies
7 oz or 200g whole dates
2 cups or 250g flour
1 cup or 225g  butter at room temp, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60ml cold milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup or 94g powdered sugar

In a small bowl, cover the dates with hot but not boiling water and set aside.

Using a pastry blender to combine the butter and flour and salt until they form large crumbles and there are no large pieces of butter.

Add the vanilla to the milk. Then add the milk to the butter and flour.

Stir until well combined. The dough is going to be quite sticky. If you live in a warm climate, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes. Don’t leave it too long or the butter will stiffen up and the dough will no longer be pliable.

Drain the dates and remove the pits and any little stemmy bits on the one end.

Use a sharp knife to chop the dates finely. Use the edge of the knife to make a square out of the date paste and cut it into 24 pieces.

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with baking parchment or silicone liners.

Cut the dough into 24 squares.

Taking one square at a time, form it into a ball.

Press the center of the ball down to create an indent and press it out into an oval. Place one piece of the dates into the middle.

Close the dough up over the dates.

Roll the dough gently between your hand to lengthen it. Bend into a crescent.

Place on your prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies are just golden. Let cool completely.

Roll in icing sugar.


Check out all the lovely spring cookies we are sharing today!

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life, this month with technical assistance from Anshie of Spiceroots. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life). We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!


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