THE GROUND SPICE MIX
- 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground anise (you can buy star anise and grind down yourself)
- 1/4 tsp ground fennel seed (if you can only find whole, grind down yourself)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- canola oil spray
- 150–160g of pitted dates
- 1 1/2 tsp of the spice mix
- 1/2 tsp almond essence
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup (115g) butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup water
- icing sugar for dusting
- a round bottom tray. You can find them on Amazon under ‘mince pie pan’ http://amzn.to/2jWIfQD or in Australia you’ll find them in most grocery stores/ kitchen stores as ‘patty pans’
- Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.
- Mix together the spice mix and place in a air tight container. You’ll only be using a bit of this mix for this recipe.
- Spray the food processor with the canola oil so the dates don’t stick.
- In batches, heat up the dates (in a small microwavable bowl) in the microwave for 10-15 secs to soften.
- Place in the food processor and blend, then repeat with the rest.
- By hand, mix the 1 1/2 tsp of spice mix and 1/2 tsp of almond essence into the date mixture.
- Set aside.
- In a mixer, beat the butter, then add in the sugar.
- Beat for a few minutes until creamy.
- Add in the flour, then the water.
- Turn out onto a board dusted with plain flour.
- Roll out relatively thinly, and cut out circles.
- Spray your cookie tray with canola oil spray.
- Place one circle into a cookie hole.
- Take a small ball of the date mixture, and press with your fingers into a flattened circle.
- Place into the cookie tray on top of the dough.
- Place another cookie dough circle on top.
- Press the middle down, then press the edges together.
- Repeat, then place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, use the back of a large spoon to gently press the centres (to keep the indentation), then set aside to cool.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve.
This recipe was inspired (although the end process was completely different) by Ma’amoul recipes, in particular from the book An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins