I think dates are some of my favorites in the vast world of dried fruit. While figs are charming, there are seeds to contend with. While raisins are workhorses, especially when soaked to proper plumpness in either liquor or boiling water, they can err on the side of sweet. Dates, however, are perfectly palatable in sweetness and texture when properly stored. In either sweet or savory application, there is no better candidate for versatility either. Tagines with lamb and dates are perfection in my mind, and these cookies that I'm about to share with you are now officially on the Food Obsessions list in the sweet category.
One of my favorite new blogs is innBrooklyn, which is a design/food/green living/technology/knitting blog run by Noerah and Talia. They began late in December, and have a number of good ideas - and all of it makes for a unique experience each time you visit. I couldn't wait to try these Date Biscuits that were posted on Jan. 30th, but I made myself wait judiciously until the very last piece of my chocolate cake was gone. For those of you keeping track, I actually kept a chocolate cake on my counter for 8 days. Boy-O and I were the only eaters, and though it wasn't my favorite recipe, it got the job done in the dessert department.
Now this will tell you something, since normally, I would have made the date biscuits anyway and then tried not to eat two desserts simultaneously. I'm well on the road to reducing my consumption by just simply making less food. This is hard for me! I love to bake especially, and to not turn on my oven is excruciatingly hard. But not only did the day finally come that my cake was gone, in true innBrooklyn green living fashion, I didn't even need to turn on my oven to make these amazing "cookies".
This recipe melts butter stovetop, and adds the remaining ingredients without heat involved: a no-bake method. I'll let you look over at the link for the proper recipe, but will note that it calls for British Marie Biscuits, which you may be able to find in a specialty foods store, but are very closely related to Maria cookies, which are widely available in the Hispanic food section of many stores. I weighed a package on my digital scale, and removed just one cookie to get the 200 grams called for in the recipe. Bet you can guess where that one went...
At this point, I'd have to say that SOMEone NEEDS to make a pie filling based on this date/butter/cocoa powder filling! My first choice would be none other than Gina, the Goddess of Pie. If the GOP can't find a way to turn this recipe into the most delicious pie ever made, I'd be surprised. The only other alteration I made to the recipe was to let the date mixture cook just slightly after I added the egg to make sure it got hot enough, since I melted my butter at a pretty low temperature. After adding the hot mixture to the Maria cookies, I found it near impossible to stop "sampling", hence my dreams of a forthcoming pie.