Showing posts with label dates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dates. Show all posts

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!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Sticky Toffee Bran Muffins #MuffinMonday

Just as in sticky toffee pudding, Medjool dates sweeten these tender bran muffins but since we are making muffins instead of dessert, no added sugar is necessary. That doesn’t mean these wouldn’t make a lovely sweet thing to end a meal with. But they’d also be a delightful breakfast.

Despite the holidays, or perhaps because of them, we’ve got some lovely muffins for you this month. When complicated holiday baking starts to overwhelm you, always remember that muffins can be baked quickly, often in less than half an hour.

This recipe takes just a bit longer since one must wait for the scalded milk-soaked dates to cool, but that step can actually be done ahead of time if you are going to be pushed for time before baking. But it’s worth it, I promise!

Make sure you scroll down to see all the muffins my Muffin Monday bakers have for you this month! As usual, they’ve out done themselves and I love the challenge of keeping up with their creativity.

9 large Mejool dates, separated
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup or 160g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup or 70g oat bran
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1⁄4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled

Pit and chop your dates, setting one aside for garnish.

Put the rest in a heatproof bowl. Add in the half teaspoon of baking soda. Scald the milk and pour it over the chopped dates.

Stir to help separate the bits of sticky date and set aside till cool. It will cool faster if you stir it occasionally. You’ll notice it begins to thicken as it cools as well. At this point, you could just eat it with a spoon, but do resist!

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it with non-stick spray or line it with muffin paper cups.

In a large bowl, sift your flour with the baking powder and salt and then add in the oat bran. Mix well.

Add your eggs to the cooled date mixture and whisk with a fork to combine.

Add the butter and whisk again.

Fold your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cups of your prepared muffin pan and then top each with some of the reserved chopped date.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until springy to the touch.

Cool for a few minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Check out all the fabulous muffins we've got for you - sweet and savory - this month!

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Almond-Stuffed Date Muffins #MuffinMonday

Almond-stuffed dates are a particular treat in the Middle East, especially at holiday time. What better way to celebrate the upcoming UAE National Day than with almond-stuffed date muffins? 

I’ve been thinking about these muffins since back in October, planning ahead for the 43rd UAE National Day on Tuesday, 2 December. I decided that rather than posting them next Monday, it would be better to post early, in case anyone wants to make them for next week. I can highly recommend the classic combination of almonds and dates. They make tender, tasty muffins, and pretty decorations on top.

If you'd like to read more about my time in the United Arab Emirates, check out my date syrup muffin post from last year's National Day.


2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 8 3/4 oz or 250g dates stuffed with almonds
1 cup or 240ml whole milk
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or another light oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Grease or line your muffin pan with paper muffin cups.

Set aside 12 stuffed dates and then use a sharp knife to chop the rest of them into small pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a smaller bowl, beat together the milk, egg, oil and vanilla.

Add in the chopped almonds and dates to the liquid bowl. Use a fork to break up the sticky dates into their individual pieces.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and fold gently until just mixed through.

Divide the batter between the cups in your prepared muffin pan and top each with one of the reserved almond-stuffed dates.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Remove from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christmas Pudding Cookies #CookieWeek #Giveaway

These little rounded cookies have the rich taste of Christmas pudding – dried fruit, dates, orange peel, spices - in bite-sized portions, complete with brandy butter to serve.

It’s Day Four of Cookie Week and I’m finally getting around to my second cookie! It’s been a busy week. But if this year’s Cookie Week is anything like last year’s Cookie Week, I know folks are going to be using our Pinterest board for holiday baking inspiration in weeks to come, so I wanted to share something a little different, with a British twist.

This recipe comes from a Jamie Oliver Christmas magazine a couple of years ago, December 2012, in fact. But, of course, he called them Christmas Pudding Biscuits. I think the only thing I’ve changed, besides the name, is to put just a little bit less flour so that the round cookie I like to bake is less dry. Jamie rolls them out and bakes them flat, like sugar cookies, but my cookie scoop makes the most perfect little Christmas pudding-shaped cookies and when that idea originally popped into my head, I couldn’t resist.

Make sure you scroll on down to see the other cookies we’ve baked for you today and, if you haven’t already, do enter the drawing for all the great baking ingredients, equipment and cookbooks generously donated by our fabulous sponsors: Imperial SugarCirculonPeanut Butter & Co. and Page Street Publishing.

For the cookie dough:
2 2/3 oz or 75g toasted flaked almonds
5 1/3 oz or 150g medool dates, pitted
3 oz or 85g dried mixed fruit
Grated zest 1 orange
1/3 cup + 1 rounded tablespoon or 85g caster sugar
1/3 cup or 85g butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/3 cups or 165g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

For the brandy butter:
1/4 cup or 50g butter, softened
1 cup or 125g icing or powdered sugar
Pinch salt
1-2 teaspoons brandy

Put the toasted almonds in your food processor and process briefly to chop them up.

Add in the dates, mixed fruit and orange zest and pulse until finely chopped. This could make your food processor jump around quite a bit so make sure to hold it down while pulsing.  Set aside.

There are still going to be some small chunks and medium-sized chunks.

Combine your flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice in a bowl.

In another larger bowl, cream together your butter and sugar. Add the egg to the butter and sugar and beat well until combined.

Stir in the flour mixture, mixing well.

Now fold in the almond/fruit mixture from the food processor. It looks like it’s going to be dry and bits keep falling out but persevere. Soon it will come together into a nice thick dough.

At this point you can wrap the dough in cling film, chill it for 20 minutes and then roll it out and cut it as you would sugar cookies or  - my idea - you can scoop it into little balls with a cookie scoop.  They look like little Christmas puds!

Either way, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

I scooped mine into little balls and baked for about 14-16 minutes, until they were golden on the outside and a little darker on the bottom.

While they bake, you can make your brandy butter.
Use a wooden spoon to beat the softened butter together with the powdered sugar and a pinch of salt.

Once it’s light and fluffy, add in the brandy one teaspoon at a time, beating well in between.

The brandy transforms the butter and sugar into something even more fluffy and light and wonderful. If you aren't using it right away, it will stiffen back up in the refrigerator and you may need to let it warm up a little before it will spread.

Once the cookies are baked, allow them to cool completely before you top them with a swipe of brandy butter.


I cannot tell you how perfectly these go with a cup of tea!

Many thanks to our Cookie Week hosts Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen! We’ve got a great team of 12 bloggers bringing you five fantastic days of cookie recipes to get you in to the holiday spirit. Are you feeling like a cookie monster yet? If not, you should be – because resisting all these delicious cookies is nearly impossible!

Grab a warm cookie from our Cookie Week bloggers!

And here's what you might have missed from Tuesday and Wednesday while I was shaking cocktails and stirring noodles!

How about some hot baking PRIZES?! One winner takes all! 

    How to enter
    Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment telling us what your favorite cookie is to bake during the holidays. Additional ways to enter will be then be revealed in the Rafflecopter widget.

    1 (one) lucky person will win ALL the prizes listed above. The winner will be randomly chosen through Rafflecopter. This giveaway is open from Monday, November 3rd, 2014 to Monday, November 11th 11:59 EST to US residents only. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond, at which time a new winner will be drawn. Good luck!

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