Pistachio Date Short Breads

Today is the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. I am not a Muslim, but living in Dubai, it has an effect on everyone. It is not allowed to eat or drink in public from sunrise to sunset, all restaurants are closed during the day. No music blaring in the shopping malls. Working hours are shortened. It is a very subdued and quiet month.
Toward sunset, people gather at the mosques where food is given out to the poorer people. Traditionally, the fast is broken with fresh dates and some water or milk. I thought I take this occasion and bake some date sweetened cookies for my family. I love to bake with dates, no  additional sugar is needed as they are sweet enough. Dates have a lovely tangy flavor. Pistachios are very popular in Middle Eastern and Arab cuisine too. Both combined in these short breads make a lovely natural cookie. A successful attempt to transform traditional local ingredients into a healthy treat.


(Print Recipe)

1/4 finely chopped pistachios
1/2 cup dried dates (ca. 10-12 dates), depitted and roughly chopped

1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

Yields 15-20 cookies
In a food processor, combine butter and dried dates until it becomes a creamy paste. Add egg and vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated. Add the flour and still until it becomes a smooth batter. Stir in half of the chopped pistachios. Form a round log with a diameter of about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Keep in the fridge for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Lay out baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the log out of the fridge and unwrap. Roll the log in the remaining pistachios. Cut 1/4-1/2 inch pieces off the log. If necessary, roll each cookie again in pistachios, then transfer to baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are just beginning to brown. Let cool on wire racks.

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