I love this recipe so much because it makes such a delicious, beautiful looking cookie with the date filling rolled up in a crunchy yet soft cookie base, just like my mamma used to make for me in my childhood years. Not to mention it leaves your house smelling just heavenly!
The superstar in this recipe are the dates from Terra Delyssa. They provide so much natural sweetness that there are only 4 tablespoons of sugar for 50 cookies! (No, that is not a typo!) This small but mighty fruit is high in fibre, which helps to regulate blood sugar, keep you satiated and lower blood cholesterol.
Israeli Date Rolls (a.k.a. ma'aroud)
- 4½ cups white flour
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1½ cups lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- 1 kg (approx. 7 cups) Terra Delyssa dates, pitted. (If using a different variety, soak dates for 30 minutes if they are too hard to use)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ cup grape juice
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Powdered sugar for decoration
- Mix the dry ingredients. Add the butter, oil, water, and rose water and use your hands to make dough. Add water as needed, until the dough comes together. Remember to always add slowly, because it's otherwise hard to fix a mistake of adding too much.
- Cut dates into small pieces and add the oil. Mix the dates with grape juice and cinnamon.
- Divide the dough into 2 balls; roll each ball to a ½ cm thick. Spread the date mixture over the dough and fold to make a roll. Slice the roll ½ inch thick to make circles. Place these cookies flat on a baking sheet.
- Bake at 350° F for 35 minutes until top is golden. Let cool, then separate the slices and spread powdered sugar for decoration.