Makes 26 dates
• 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
• 1 teaspoon tahini
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 26 dates
• Shredded, unsweetened coconut, for sprinkling over the top.
Chop pistachios in a food processor till a crumble-like texture forms. Mix pistachios with the honey and tahini, adding a little extra of each if the mix needs more to stick together nicely.Slice each date length ways to the pit, then remove the pit.Stuff the pistachio mixture into each date then sprinkle with coconut.
Dates, pitted (*see note)
2-3 oz. fine quality Gorgonzola cheese
2 tbs. walnuts or pecans, toasted (**see note) and lightly chopped
whole milk or cream (optional)
Place Gorgonzola in a small bowl and mash with a fork until creamy. If cheese is a little dry, add a teaspoon of milk or cream to moisten it. Gently stir in the chopped walnuts.Make a slit in the dates length-wise. Stuff about a 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese and nut mixture in the dates.Keep dates chilled until ready to eat.
To enhance this simple finger food, try wrapping dates with thinly sliced prosciutto.*To pit the dates: using the flat side of a knife, push down on the dates. Lightly cut into the date and remove the pit.**To toast walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread whole walnuts on a sheet pan and bake for 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Let walnuts cool and then roughly chop.
MAKES ENOUGH FOR ABOUT 24 COOKIES
Bring dates, orange zest, cinnamon, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often and mashing with a heatproof spatula, until dates are very soft and jammy, about 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Let cool.
Do ahead: Filling can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.
1 lb Semi dried pitted dates,chopped. 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 cup water, 8 tbsp unsalted butter (room temperature), 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1 egg white, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
In a medium sauce pan, bring the dates, vanilla, orange juice, and water to a low boil on low-medium heat. Cover and let simmer until the date mixture becomes the consistency of jam. Remove from the stove and set to the side to let cool. Once cool, add the dates to a food processor, and pulse into a smooth paste. Set to the side.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg white and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until cool.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour the counter and the rolling pin. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and roll it into a 12x16" rectangle. Cut the dough, lengthwise, into three 4 inch strips.
Spread a thick layer of date puree down the center of each strip 1" thick. With a knife or spatula, gently fold the left side of the dough over the date strip, and then the right side of dough over top of that. The dough should now encase the date puree. If the dough has become soft or difficult to handle anytime during this process, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Flip the dough over so that the seam is facing down. with a sharp knife, cut the strips into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Have a towel and bowl of water handy to wash the knife when it becomes to sticky. Place the cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until light brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. The cookies are much better the next day, once the dough has had time to soften. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
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