Prep 1 hr
Cook 12 mins
I love these cookies; they are traditional Arabic cookies usually made for the holidays.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, ground
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 cup clarified butter
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 2 cups dates, pitted
- 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- Mix flour, ground fenugreek, salt, granulated sugar and instant yeast in a large bowl.
- Add the clarified butter; mix with your hands until well incorporated.
- Heat the milk until warm; add gradually to flour mixture.
- Knead to form a soft dough.
- Cover with a damp cloth for 1/2 hour.
- Put the dates in a bowl; add nutmeg; knead with your hands.
- Take a small piece of dough; pat down onto work surface.
- Take a smaller piece of dates and roll it with your hands to form a small rope.
- Place the date rope in the middle of the piece of dough and enclose it with the dough and roll into a rope; make sure the date is entirely covered with dough.
- Shape your rope into an 'S' and place on a baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remainder of dough and date filling.
- Brush your 'S's with egg white; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden in color.
First attempt: utter failure. Sesame seeds everywhere, omelette all over the baking sheet, whole kitchen sticky. I've made a lot of changes and tried again, and my second attempt has worked beautifully.<br/><br/>Adjusted version, in UK units:<br/><br/>You will need:<br/><br/>Equipment:<br/>Big mixing bowl for flour. Big. Really.<br/>Mixing bowl for dates.<br/>Small bowl for egg white.<br/>Somewhere to put the egg yolk. I used another bowl, added the leftover egg white and made an omelette afterwards.<br/>Knife.<br/>Cutting board.<br/>Baking sheets.<br/>Small pan.<br/>Oven glove.<br/>Oven.<br/>Hob.<br/><br/>Ingredients:<br/>500g flour<br/>1 tablespoon sugar<br/>1 tablespoon yeast<br/>225g butter (just slice a tenth off the end of a full block and use the rest)<br/>80-90ml (6 tablespoons) milk (How's that for an adjustment? The recipe says 355ml!)<br/>250g dates (buy them chopped and add a little water to save a nause of a chopping job)<br/>2 teaspoons nutmeg<br/>1 teaspoon fenugreek<br/>1 egg white<br/>sesame seeds (the recipe says 125g, but I think 40g is overdoing it; picture uploaded shows 20g spread over half the dough)<br/>oil<br/><br/>Method:<br/>melt the butter<br/>mix the flour, sugar, yeast and fenugreek<br/>add the butter and mix in<br/>add the milk until everything sticks together but not to the bowl<br/>mush the dates and nutmeg together into a paste<br/>oil your baking sheets<br/><br/>Palestinian style:<br/>divide the dough and date paste each into 32 equal parts (form a ball, cut it in 8, form each part into a ball, cut each in 4)<br/>roll a piece of dough into a rope and flatten it into a rectangle<br/>roll a piece of paste into a rope and lay it along the rectangle<br/>roll the dough around the paste<br/>make an S-shape<br/>put it on the baking sheet<br/>repeat until all used up<br/>brush all with egg white<br/>sprinkle all with sesame seeds<br/><br/>Iranian style:<br/>divide dough into 64 parts and paste into 32 parts<br/><br/>approach 1:<br/>form two pieces of dough into two balls and flatten each into a circle<br/>for a piece of date paste into a ball and flatten it into a smaller circle<br/>make a little hole in one dough circle<br/>stack them together<br/><br/>approach 2:<br/>form a piece of dough into a ball and flatten it into a circle<br/>for a piece of date paste into a ball and flatten it into a smaller circle<br/>put the paste circle on the dough circle<br/>form another piece of dough into a rope and wrap it around the paste circle<br/>flatten the dough rope onto the paste<br/>fold up the edges of the dough circle and squeeze them in and the top down to make neat, square edges<br/><br/>whichever approach you took:<br/>carry on until you've used everything up<br/>sprinkle a few sesame seeds over each cookie<br/><br/>Either style:<br/>bake at 230C for about 15 minutes, however long it takes them to just start to brown.