Date Rolls | Lonumedhu

Date Rolls

 

We love making these date roll cookies for Iftar during Ramadan. Dates are stuffed with almonds and wrapped in a buttery pastry, which then gets baked to golden goodness.

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The taste of these rolls largely depends on the quality of the dates you use, and in this recipe, we’ve used Lulu dates from the premium UAE brand Date Crown, which we got from one of our partners MHA. We found the size and the sweetness of these dates to be just perfect for this recipe.

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Makes: around 48

 

Ingredients:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • ½ cup icing sugar (60g)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 2 cups flour (250g)
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 24 almonds
  • 48 Date Crown dates
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. full cream milk

 

Instructions:

  1. Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and using your electric hand mixer or your stand mixer, blend them together until light and fluffy. Around 5 minutes on medium speed should do it. Scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through for even mixing.
  2. Once the mixture becomes light and fluffy, add the egg and vanilla essence. Beat until the eggs are incorporated. This will take around a minute. It’s going to look a bit weird at the stage but don’t worry about it.
  3. Sift the flour and salt in to the bowl and then mix again until the flour is incorporated. This too, won’t take long. For us it came together in around 2 minutes. When the flour is incorporated the mixture will resemble breadcrumbs.
  4. Now using clean fingers, lightly knead the mixture to make a smooth dough. Be careful not to over knead.
  5. Wrap the mixture in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for half an hour. You can divide the dough into two or four before putting it in the fridge too since it’s easier to work with smaller portions.
  6. While the dough is chilling in the fridge, cut the almonds in half. Remove the seeds from the dates by making small incisions on them. Then place an almond half inside every date and close the date around it. Now you should have dates with almond halves instead of seeds.
  7. Once your dough has chilled in the fridge for half an hour, using your rolling pin, roll out a portion of the dough into a rectangular shape of 1/8th inch thickness. (We divided the dough into 8 portions. You can roll them on a clean surface lightly dusted with flour or place the dough portion in between two sheets of baking paper and then roll. We recommend the baking paper method as it makes things so much easier. And also, rolling it is easier when you apply a little bit of pressure. Since there’s butter in the dough, the dough tends to crack when rolling if it gets too cold. So you’ll have to watch out for this. If it starts getting cracked, just keep the dough at room temperature for around 5 minutes and then knead it a little to get it to soften. Do note that putting the dough in the fridge is important as you won’t be able to roll it at all if you don’t chill it in the fridge.)
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into date wide strips (cut the edges too to get neat ends).
  9. Then place an almond stuffed date on one end of a dough strip and then roll until it’s completely wrapped and the dough overlaps a little, and then cut the strip using a clean knife. Press the date roll gently to seal the ends and place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper (to line the tray, rub a little bit of oil or butter on the tray and then press the baking paper on to it). Continue to do this until you run out of dough and dates (depending on the size of your oven, you might need to bake in batches. You can prepare the date rolls and keep them in the fridge until you can bake them or you can just bake them as you go).
  10. Make an egg wash by combining the egg yolk and milk in a small bowl and then brush the date rolls with the egg wash (if you don’t have milk you can use water too).
  11. Place the tray on the middle rack of an oven which was preheated to 180 degrees Celsius (you have to preheat the oven for at least 10 minutes). Bake for 20 minutes or until they look golden.
  12. Once baked, take the tray out of the oven. Let the date rolls cool in the tray for around 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack or plate.
  13. Once completely cooled, transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.
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