Dates! They have been cultivated for thousands of years since ancient times, and what a blessing they truly are! They have been used extensively in Middle East and the Indus Valley since then.
As for me, I have consumed a fair share of dates in my early days. 😀 My mother made sure we had these growing up as they are quite healthy and a good source of energy! What with school and the after-school play time activites! My younger brother would play cricket for hours at a stretch under the scorching sun on holidays, he needed these most.. 😉 My gandfather loved Khajoor, as they are called in Hindi, and he would always make sure we never ran out of these sweet goodies!
I don’t cook much or rather not at all with dates and love to eat them in the raw form. However, this time I have dared to come out of my comfort zone and used them in biscuits. You will find half and half of dates and raisins in this recipe, but these can be made with dates solely. They were quite delicious and the dates impart a richness and not to forget, nutrition to these swet buttery, crumbly, melt in the mouth cookies! They are perfect to serve with tea. I have used the same recipe I used for these Butter Biscuits.
125 g all purpose flour
100 g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
50 g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
100 g dates,seedless or dried figs
100 g raisins
120 ml heavy cream
Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt.
With your fingertips, mix and cream the butter with the sugar and salt, then add the egg yolks and work them in delicately with your fingertips.
Slowly, draw the flour into the center and work the mixture delicately with your fingers until you have a homogeneous dough.
Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 3 or 4 times until it is completely smooth.
Roll into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Finely chop the dates and raisins. Add the cream and stir until smooth. Ideally this should be done in a food processor until the mixture has a smooth creamy consistency.
Date & Raisin Butter Biscuits
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten the chilled dough and roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8th inch thick.
Trim the edges so you have a neat rectangle.
Place it on a baking tray with parchment paper and chill for 15 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and spread the date cream evenly over the dough with a spatula.
With the long side facing you begin rolling up the dough tightly. Chill until firm, at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut into small slices and transfer them to the prepared baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.