Sunday, January 20, 2013

Soft Ginger DATE Cookies for Tu B'Shvat

Yummy Soft Ginger DATE Cookies!
Great for Tu B'Shvat and
a Motei Sabbat "date"

With Tu B’Shvat, the birthday of the trees, right around the corner I wanted to share a recipe that had some sort of fruit in it.  Get it? Fruit…trees…  Recently a really great and healthy recipe literally fell into my lap where Dear Husband dropped it.  You may not know this, but Dear Husband is a runner.  He actually runs for exercise, unlike me where my running consists of “running” to the store, “running” to carpool, “running” to Shul, and “running” from running (HA!).  Anyway, Dear Husband really likes to run.  He’s been running since he ran track in high school and has even run in races.  How cool is that?!! One of the few things that Dear Husband treats himself to is Runner’s World Magazine.  He loves to read the articles, and once in a while he shares some of the fun articles with me and especially loves to share the interesting and healthy recipes the magazine publishes. A few weeks ago he tore out a recipe for Soft Ginger Cookies by Chef Gesine Bullock Prado, which for the purposes of tying it to Tu B’Shvat, am renaming Soft Ginger DATE Cookies.  These cookies are really, super gingery, but are also deliciously sweet from the addition of chopped dates and molasses.  They were pretty easy to make, but when I made the cookies I didn’t realize that regular molasses is not the same as blackstrap molasses.  I sort of suspected that they weren’t the same but was prompted to actually look up the difference online when my cookie “dough” seemed to be a little on the loose side.  Also, because the “dough” was more like a really thick batter, the turbinado sugar kind of melted into the cookies.  Sigh.  It turns out that blackstrap molasses is way thicker than the regular kind.  Oh well.  The cookies still came out great, and I even made them gluten-free (great for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater)!!) by using spelt flour instead of whole-wheat flour.  I think that using the whole-wheat flour instead of the spelt would also have impacted the consistency of the cookie “dough”, but as I’m trying to be a GFE lately and the recipe said you could use either one, I opted for the spelt flour. 

Even though the weather is incredibly cold and snowy here in Chicago, and Dear Husband has to run inside on a treadmill, we’ll be able to have a Tu B’Shvat date (cookie) thanks to Runners World J

Chag Sameach!

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Soft Ginger Date Cookies
¾ cups hot coffee
1 cup chopped, pitted dates
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs at room temperature
¼ cup organic blackstrap molasses (I used regular but blackstrap would be better)
1 ½ cups organic spelt flour or whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup chopped crystallized ginger
¼ cup turbinado sugar (I used more than that to top the cookies)

Preheat oven to 350° F. 

Combine coffee and dates and stir in baking soda.  Let it sit for 10 minutes.  Put mixture in a food processor;  process until nearly smooth.  In a bowl, whisk eggs and molasses.  Continue whisking and add date puree.  In a small bowl, whisk flour, salt, and spices.  Stir into date mixture.  Stir in ginger pieces until combined.  Freeze till very firm but scoopable (30 minutes).  Using a teaspoon, drop dough into little mounds, a few inches apart, on a parchment-lined tray.  Sprinkle sugar over cookies,  Bake 10 minutes or until they feel spongy yet firm and spring back when gently poked.  Makes 30 cookies.

All the ingredients...
(Just pretend the black pepper is ground cinnamon..oops!)
 Whisk together the dates &coffee...
 Let them sit for 10 minutes....
 Whisk together the eggs & molasses...
 Ding! Ten minutes are up...
process the dates & coffee!
(I love my Little Oscar processor!)
 Combine the flour and spices...
 Add them to the wet mixture...
 Freeze the "dough"...
(It's so cold here I could have just put it outside!!)
Drop by teaspoonful on the cookie sheet...
 Then sprinkle with sugar...
 Bake until they're soft and spongy...
These are SO pretty & YUMMY!!
 SMILE! It's a closeup!!

Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

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