We call these “Ajweh” and the family joke is that we bring them out every time someone is about to get married. I still remember a huge plate of them being brought out when I met my husbands grandparents for the first time. I had no idea what their significance was, but I do remember they tasted delicious, homemade and made me feel very welcome.
This is the first time I’ve ever tried to make date cakes myself, and I wanted an authentic, traditional recipe. Rae Dayan’s book “For the Love of Cooking” is known to be an accurate record of Syrian cooking.
flour, water, margarine, medjool dates, water, orange rind,
While you can use other dates, medjool dates are by far preferred. There is no comparable date. I substituted Earth Balance for for the margarine.
The dough was surprisingly easy to mix by hand. It formed a neat little ball with just flour, water and
margarine. I quartered the dates and made sure all pits were removed and then placed then in a pot with water to cook for 15 minutes. I then mashed it up with spices and let it cool. During this time I formed circles from the dough and flattened them out. This dough was surprisingly easy to roll out and was very pliable. I placed a heaping spoon of filling in each dough circle, rolled it and bent into a crescent shape. They were then baked for 20 minutes. The recipe calls for 15-20 minutes however I believe the full 20 was needed and the you will have to go by a timer because the dough does not change color in the baking process. The baked cookies are then dusted with confectioners sugar.
The jury is out on this one. There is no picture to compare too, but I think my cookies looked very lovely. However they do not taste as good as Grandma’s. That’s to be expected – nothing ever is. The cakes still taste pretty good if I do say so myself.