Monday, January 17, 2011
Dates and Walnut Squares
I always adore the Middle Eastern Cuisine especially when it comes to desserts and sweets. This is something very similar to mamoul cookies which I made earlier. The thing which I love the most about these squares, it's mildly sweetened, it gets the natural sweetness from the dates and a crunchy bit of walnut in the middle will be perfect with a mint tea after dinner or even during evening tea. I made a few alterations in the mamoul cookie which I made earlier, I absolutely enjoyed these squares a lot. Hope you guys enjoy baking it too.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes 25 to 30 squares
Fine semolina( semolina flour)- 150 g
Plain flour- 150 g
Baking Powder- 3/4 tsp
Icing sugar- 1/2 tbsp
Milk- 3 to 4 tbsp
Pitted dates- 500 g
Cinnamon powder- 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp
Walnuts- 2 tbsp( finely chopped)
Prepare the filling first by steaming the dates in a steamer for 10 minutes. Mash it well until it looks like a paste, add cinnamon and cardamom powder mix it well. Set it aside.
Prepare the pastry by sifting the flour, semolina, baking powder and icing sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and start working with your hands until it looks like bread crumbs. Add cold milk little by little until the mixture looks crumbly, don't knead it like a dough.
Grease a 20cm square cake tine, line with baking parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius. Divide the dough into half. Roll one half of the dough in the middle of two clingfilm. Peel the top layer of cling film and carefully invert the pastry inside the cake tin and press it all around to fit the tin. Now roll the dates paste in the middle of two cling film and place it on top of the pastry and press it to spread all through the pastry. Spread the chopped walnuts on top of the dates paste. Now roll the other half of the dough in the middle of two cling film and place it on top of the dates paste. Take a butter knife , with a blunt side of the knife score on top of the pastry, then with a sharp knife cut it into squares, don't cut it completely, just make an insertion. Bake it in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Take it out from the oven and allow it cool in the tin completely. then cut it into squares and dust it with icing sugar and cinnamon powder.
Also don't forget to check our bloggers in the marathon Srivalli, Reva, Monika, Priya Suresh, PJ, Priya Vaasu, Jay, Azeema , Soumya.and Gayathri.
This recipe goes to AWED- Iranian Cuisine hosted by Sweet Artichoke originally started by DK of Chef in You.