This recipe is for a Middle Eastern dates dessert that we have no official name for, so we used the term Dates Fudge since it’s the closest in texture. In essence, it is pitted dates made into a paste, and then battered with melted butter, stuffed with nuts (walnuts, pistachio, or almonds) and then rolled and dipped in coconut flakes. Mom however gets a bit more creative with it and stuffs this delicacy with crunchy sweet tea biscuits. And my wife suggested that it would also taste great if dipped in chocolate flakes.
For this recipe, we used pitted baking dates (Ziyad brand) which is essentially a thick paste of pitted dates. This is a whole lot easier and faster than pitting the dates yourself. However if this is not readily available in your local Middle Eastern stores (or don’t want to buy it online), you can then pit some dates and throw them in the food processor for a few minutes until they turn into a paste.
Some folks like to “fry” the dates along with the butter prior to rolling it, you could do that and the taste isn’t that much different than kneading the raw dates with the butter.
2 lbs of baking dates paste (Zeyad brand, ready for baking). If this is not available, grind pitted dates in a food processor for a few mins until they turn into a paste.
2 table spoons of unsalted butter
1/2 lb of Walnuts
1/4 lb Coconut flakes
1. Melt butter in a saucepan on low heat
2. Hand-knead pitted dates with butter in a deep bowl, or you could also plate pitted dates and butter in food processor and grind for 3-5 minutes.
3. Split the 2 lbs of dates into about 28 pieces, stuff each piece with a couple of walnut halves, then roll it between the palm of your hands until it turns into a smooth ball. The ball should be a bit smaller in size than a golf ball.
4. Dip or roll the ball in a plate full of coconut flakes. Once ready, you can leave the rolls at room temperature or place them in a fridge. The coolness brings out the flavor more for some reason.
5. Serve with Arabic coffee or black tea.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten free, Raw
Number of servings (yield): 28
Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern
Source: Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen