Friday, 30 December 2016

Sesame Date Squares

This recipe came about because I had stuff that I needed to use up! I wanted a crisp, seeded cookie that had the flavors from my Lebanese-Jamaican childhood. These flavors were dates, walnuts, Tahini, and Orange Blossom water. I got 20 squares, and the on line nutritional counter that I use indicated 8 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of carbohydrate in each square. 

1 cup Durum flour
½ cup oatmeal
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons flax meal
1/3 cup dates, finely chopped
1/3 cup water
1 cup walnuts, ground to a fine meal like consistency
1/2 cup sesame seeds
½ cup puffed millet
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup brown sugar ( I use coconut sugar, but ordinary brown sugar may also be used.)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses
4 tablespoons Tahini (Sesame seed paste)
1 tablespoon Lebanese Orange Blossom water
1.      Measure and mix all dry ingredients (including sugars) in a large bowl and set aside
2.      Microwave the water and chopped dates in a bowl. I use high, and microwave for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
3.      When the above mixture is cool, add the oil, Tahini, molasses, and orange blossom water to the mixture.
4.      Mix wet and dry ingredients together, stirring until everything is moistened and combined. This does not form a dough as such but a mixture of a more crumbly nature
5.      Cut a square of parchment paper larger than the 11x10x1 inch baking tray and place in tray. Empty the cookie mixture on to the paper and firmly press the mixture to completely cover the tray (see photo)
6.      Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, remove from oven and cut into squares.
Lift the paper with the mixture and transfer whole to a baking sheet then allow to cool for 20 minutes. Carefully separate the squares (I find that using a cleaver to cut through the squares and separate them, works well. The cookies are still very crumbly at this stage so you have to be careful with handling them).
Lower the temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 45 minutes or until the squares are a nice brown color. Turn off the oven and leave the cookies in there, with the door closed, to dry out further. Store in an airtight container.

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