- Makes: 36
- Cooking Time: 20 mins
- Course: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- 250g dates – I use chopped dates
- 3 tbsp water
- 5 tbsp medium strength liquid coffee – I use coffee from a cafetière
- 1 tbsp sugar400g plain flour
- 225g butter
- 45g icing sugar
- 35ml olive oil
- 65ml milk
- 1 egg white, beaten
To make the filling, put the dates, sugar, coffee and water in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and cook gently until all the liquid is absorbed and the dates melt to a smooth, sticky paste.
To make the biscuit dough, sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the icing sugar and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the oil and milk, then work them in until you have a smooth dough.
Dust your surface with flour. Divide the dough into three and roll each into a large rectangle, about 3mm (¼ inch) thick. Divide the filling into thirds and smear onto each rectangle of dough, leaving a clear margin along one long edge. Brush each clear edge with egg white and roll up to form a log, sealing well at the edge. Gently, but firmly, roll each log back and forth to make it longer and thinner.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes or more to firm up. I have kept them in the fridge for a couple of days and baked as I needed them.
Preheat an oven to 160 degrees/gas 3. Remove the chilled logs from the fridge and slice on the diagonal into lozenges about one centimetre thick. Arrange on a greased baking tray and cook for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 140 degrees/gas 1 and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. When cooled, dust liberally with icing sugar.