Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦
Time: 50 minutes | Servings: 36 | Rating: ★★★★☆
For the Cake Spice Mix
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ¼ teaspoons allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground anise
- ¼ teaspoon ground fennel seed
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
For the Dough
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup clarified butter, melted
- 4 cups + 4 tablespoons all-purpose ﬂour
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
For the Date Filling
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ¾ pound pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons Cake Spice Mix
For the Assembly
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Mix together the spices for the cake spice mix. You will only need 1 ½ teaspoons of the spice mix for the recipe but you can store the remaining spice mix in an airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.
- To make the date ﬁlling, grind ¾ pounds of pitted dates and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in an oiled heavy-duty food processor. Once processed, oil your hands and knead 1 ½ teaspoons cake spice mix and 1 teaspoon of almond extract into the dates.
- To make the dough, combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and ¾ cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil then boil for 1 minute. Turn the heat off and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine ¼ cup of vegetable oil and ¾ cup of clariﬁed butter.
- In a large bowl, add 4 cups of all-purpose flour and whisk in ½ teaspoon of instant yeast. Use a wooden spoon to gradually incorporate the oil mixture, then gradually incorporate the sugar syrup. Knead the dough until it comes together nicely into a shaggy dough, adding up to 4 tablespoons of ﬂour as needed; when done, the dough will be soft and should look smooth, shiny, and slightly oily. Cover the dough, put it in the freezer to stiffen slightly for about 5 to 10 minutes, and then knead it again for a couple minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- To shape the cookies, measure 2 slightly scant tablespoons of dough and roll it into a ball then slightly ﬂatten it with your hands. Add 1 teaspoon of the date mixture into the center of the flatten dough and roll up the edges to form a stuffed dough ball. Flatten slightly and, if interested, add a design to the top of the dough.
- Arrange the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets. The cookies don’t spread much so you can leave them about ½ to 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until light golden brown on the bottom; the tops of the cookies will still appear pale.
- Cool completely, and then dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!