These buttery date-filled cookies featuring olive oil hail from the Middle East—potentially from ancient Egypt—and are an unexpected addition to holiday cookie trays.
- 1/3 cup roasted, salted pistachio nuts, chopped
- 1/3 cup pitted whole dates, chopped
- 1/4 cup apricot spreadable fruit preserves or jam
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup semolina or all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting, if desired
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons orange blossom water, rosewater, or orange juice
Make the filling: In a small bowl, combine the pistachios, dates, spreadable fruit, and orange zest. In a medium bowl stir together the next five ingredients (through the salt).
In a large bowl, beat the butter and olive oil with a mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Combine the milk and orange blossom water. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to the butter mixture, beating on low after each addition until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into balls, using 1 1/2 tablespoons for each cookie. Pat each ball into a 2 3/4-inch circle. Top each with a rounded teaspoon of filling. Bring up the edges to wrap the dough around the filling; pinch to seal. Roll between your palms to make a smooth ball, then flatten to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Place, seam side down, on the prepared cookie sheet. Using a skewer, fork, or other kitchen tool, make a decorative pattern on top of each cookie, pressing lightly.
Bake for 17 to 19 minutes, or until the bottoms are light brown. If desired, dust the warm cookies with additional powdered sugar.
Makes 20 cookies — Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens