I have a large bag of pitted dates, some leftover pie dough from yesterdays pie. I love dates but Medjool are my date of choice for snacking, don’t get me wrong, these dates are good but not medjool and there is a major difference. I really love re-purposing things and hate throwing anything away. When I make a pie I take the scraps and wrap them in plastic and refrigerate them. My idea was to make something similar to pigs in a blanket and using the same principle make a bite size sweet treat. I rolled out the pastry dough, lightly smeared it with a mixture of softened butter, sugar, orange zest and cardamom, cut it into strips and rolled each date in a strip of dough, brushed it with cream and sprinkled on turbinado sugar. These little bites are so easy to make, taste delicious and make the perfect bite size dessert. The dates that were formerly a bit dry are now soft and warm and subtly flavored with the cardamom and orange and are encased in flaky pastry. I did not put amounts for the ingredients, do it according to taste and how many you want to make.
pastry dough (pie, puff or phylo would all work)
Sugar (granulated and turbinado)
Mix butter, granulated sugar, cardamom and orange zest together. Roll out pastry dough and cut into approximately 2 inch strips. Cut each strip into 2 or 3 pieces so you have enough to encase the date. Roll date in dough, brush with egg wash or cream, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake at 375 degres for approximately 20 minutes.
Bake together with Abby Dodge
this month is Cornmeal buttermilk muffins. I just want to say that I love participating in this, it is a wonderful way to be creative and as always I have a lot of fun. I used Abby’s basic recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk muffins (original recipe found by clicking on Abby Dodge above) and added my own touch. My latest obsession is with Medjool dates, the are so soft and creamy and sweet I find myself snacking on them several times a day. Dates and orange and cardamom go together really well so I thought I would incorporate all those wonderful ingredients into these muffins. The muffins contain orange zest and dates and I made a streusel topping flavored with cardamom. NOTE: I also decreased the sugar to 1/4 cup because the dates are so sweet and I made a dozen mini muffins rather than 6 large ones.
For the muffins:
3/4 cup (3 3/8 ounces) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) finely ground yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped medjool dates pitted
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
3 tbs flour
2 tbs light brown sugar packed
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom
2 tbs soft butter
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 6 regular-sized muffin cups with paper or foil liners or to make mini muffins 12 liners in 12 cup muffin tin.
Mix the soft butter, flour, sugars and cardamom and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well blended. Measure the buttermilk using a 2 cup glass measure, pour buttermilk into blender and add the chopped dates , pulse a few times so that the dates are broken up but still are in small pieces, add back to 2 cup measuring cup. Add the egg, oil, and orange zest and mix with a table fork until well blended. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold (no stirring) until just blended.
Portion the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (1/4 cup of batter per cup will be about three-quarters of the way full a little less for mini muffins). Crumble the streusel topping on each muffin. Bake until the tops are pale golden brown and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes for larger muffins because mine were smaller it took 15 minutes to bake. Move to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and set them on a wire rack. Serve immediately or cool completely and stow in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I like them best when they are served warm so please reheat before serving.