Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Date Cookies

Recipe No: 280
When 'Our Santa' secretly sent me a message to change the usual Sugar or Ginger Bread Cookies to something new and exciting this year, this suddenly came into my mind. So when 'Santa' was busy finishing the last minute Christmas shopping, me and my daughter whipped up this Cookies on the Christmas Eve.
Ingredients                                            Makes 14-16
To make the Pastry dough
  • All Purpose Flour/ Maida……1 Cup
  • Cold Butter…………………….….6 Tablespoons (unsweetened; cubed)
  • Sugar……………………………..…1/4 Cup
  • Baking Soda……………………...1/8 Teaspoon
  • Salt……………………………….….a pinch (Avoid if you are using salted Butter)
  • Rose Essence…………………....1/3 Teaspoon
  • Cold Water……………………….3-4 Tablespoons
For the filling
  • Dates Chopped…………………..1 Cup
  • Water………………………….……1/3 Cup
  • Sugar……………………...……….3 Tablespoons
Method of Preparation
To make the Covering/ Pastry
  1. In a Food Processor/ electric mixer, pulse together Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Soda, Rose Essence and Butter (cubed) for a few times till the Flour resembles wet sand or bread crumbs. (Don’t make it very fine; there should be small pieces of Butter left in the Flour.) Alternatively you can mix Butter into the Flour using your fingertips just like you would moisten the Flour for Puttu.
  2. Add 3-4 tablespoons of Water into the mixture to make a very crumbly dough. (At this stage the Flour will stick together if pressed but very crumbly.)
  3. Dump the dough onto a floured board/ work surface and pat all the dough mixture together into one mass; cover with a plastic or Aluminum foil and keep in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or till the filling is ready.
To make the Filling
  1. Heat chopped Dates, Sugar and Water on medium heat till it comes to a boil and the Sugar is melted. Switch off the heat and let it cool a bit. Pulse it once or twice in a food processor or the dry grinder of a Mixer Grinder. The filling should not have any big pieces and don’t make it too dry as this mixture will continue to tighten up as it cools.
  2. Let the filling cool down completely before filling the cookie. If needed, add one or two tablespoons more of Water if the filling becomes too dry on cooling.
To make and bake the Dates filled Cookie
  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F/ 163˚C.
  2. Roll out the pastry into 1/8 inch thickness and make 14 - 16 squares 2 1/2 -3 inch squares. (I used a 2 3/4 inch square cookie cutter with a pretty edge.) Bring all the scraps together and make more. If it becomes sticky, do refrigerate the dough for a while.
  3. Divide the filling between the cut out squares taking care to place them along the middle of the pastry, leaving some space on the sides. (Please refer the picture.)
  4. Fold both sides of the pastry over the Dates filling, so that, most of the filling is covered showing only a thin line along the middle. Press slightly on top of the cookie so that the filling and the pastry stick together.
  5. Place it on a baking tray and continue with the rest.
  6. Bake the filled Pastry in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. (The Cookie should be slightly crispy with light coloration along the edges, but not fully brown.)
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of Black Coffee or Green Tea as a snack or as a dessert after dinner.
Notes:
  • While mixing Butter into the Flour, there should be small pieces of Butter left and don’t knead this dough too much as it will melt the Butter. Just pat the dough together and roll it out. In a hot oven, the small pieces of Butter will melt creating steam that will help the dough rise making it flaky, which is very essential for this cookie.
  • Apply Flour on the board/ work surface and the rolling pin to avoid the dough from sticking. 
  • If you don't have the time for the dough to chill in the refrigerator, do put it in the freezer for 6-8 minutes.
  • You can make this pastry without Rose Essence, but its addition gives a very special taste.
  • If in case the Date mixture is too tight when cold, do add a tablespoon or two of Water and mix well to incorporate. Don’t make it very wet or it will be make the cookie soggy when cooked.
  • Let the Date filling cool completely before filling the Pastry or the heat from the filling will make the dough too soft to handle.
  • The low temperature setting of the oven will crisp up the cookie without browning  it too much.
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Don’t refrigerate.
 



Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love...

5 comments:

faseela said...

lovely cookies with dates filling........will try it soon

Priya said...

Wow stunning and irresistible cookies,simply love that dates filling.

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Cookies look superb...Very nicely explained post...

Anzz said...

Looks lovely. Great post..!I am hosting my first blog event plus giveaway - Valentines Special. Do check it out and be a part of it. Would be great..!
My event- Valentines Day Special

maha said...

luks yumm n healthy 2...

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