Monday, June 27, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Blind Date Cookies

Page 58 in the old book / page 89 in the new book

These are soft cookies, each with a walnut-stuffed date inside and a thin glaze on top. I thought they were a little too sweet.

If these had been easier to make I might have liked them better. The dough is very thin - almost like a batter - and the stuffed dates must be dipped in it. Maida Heatter suggested using two forks to roll the date around in the dough until generously coated. I found this technique awkward and it took me a while to get the hang of it. Eventually, I found a method that worked for me. I would run the forks slightly below the date, lifting it and turning it.

I think I was muttering a lot while making these cookies - they weren't fun and the results were frustrating. The cookies came out various sizes and I didn't think they looked all that appealing. Surprisingly, most of the cookie panel loved them. Everyone was very impressed with the stuffed date and was wondering how I got the nut in there (which is very easy if you don't try to use a whole walnut half as specified in the recipe - I used half of a half, or a couple of smaller pieces). It was getting the date into the cookie that was troublesome!

Suzanne: "I LOVED these cookies. I could have eaten them all. I usually try to eat only one cookie, since I'm trying to watch my girlish figure, but I'm sure I'll be going back for more. Rating - 5"

Terri: "Although I love sweets, I thought the icing made the cookie too sweet. The walnut inside the date was a pleasant surprise. Cookie could have been bulkier - it is fairly flat with lump in middle (blind date). would be tasty with a sorbet. Rating - 3"

Laura: "Moist yummy cookie with delightful light glaze and a tasty surprise inside. Yum! Rating - 4"

Phil: "A blind date worth the risk. This cookie works at several levels – sugary sweet glaze and fruity sweet date with a textural mix of a cakey cookie and sticky date enveloping a chunk of walnut. Rating - 4.4"

Overall rating by the panel - 4.1

Next week - German Oatmeal Cookies

Nutrition Facts


Alice said...

These sound really, really good. The idea of a walnut stuffed date makes me drool. Too bad they were irritating to make. Do you think you'd like them better if you had left the glaze off?

Nic said...

Maida loves glazes. I usually can't be bothered with them. Cookies, and other foods, that have a mystery aspect to them usually seem to be popular. Like those checkerboard shortbread cookies? Everyone always wonders how they're made.
I guess the exception would be if the suprise were something strange or gross.

Cathy said...

Hi Alice - Thanks! Yes, for me I think the icing put the sweetness level over the top. The cookie itself isn't that interesting either - soft, sweet and vanilla-flavored. Long ago I made a like-named cookie from one of my Mom's cookbooks. I have the cookbook now and am tempted to try that version again. With those you drop some dough, place the stuffed date on top, and cover with more dough. Only thing is it calls for shortening, which I'm a little leary of these days.

Hi Nic - I hadn't thought about that before, but I think you're right. Eight of the cookies I've made so far have had a glaze or icing. I guess those little mysteries appeal in the kid in us!

Chocopie said...

Personally, I don't like date itself. It seems to me date is too simple but if we make a cookie or cake with date, it'll be very special... I'll try to make it.

Cathy said...

Hi Chocopie! I love dates, but I can see where one would think they're rather plain and just very sweet. You ought to try a stuffed date before you go to the trouble of making these cookies... take a slender piece of walnut or pecan (a half of a half) and push it through the hole of a pitted date (or slit open the date and form the date around the nut). Then roll the date in granulated sugar. Yum - so simple, but really wonderful!

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

Dates and walnuts sound nice. This would probably be nice with some tea. Perhaps something a little bitter...let me think about that.

Cathy said...

Hi Reid - true - tea or coffee would offset the sweetness nicely.

Santos said...

i wonder what would happen if you deep fried it after dipping....

Cathy said...

Hi Santos - what an interesting idea, if only I weren't afraid of deep fat frying....I'll have to leave that experiment to you! I bet it would be like a cake donut, only with a stuffed date inside. It would probably be delicious. Even putting the glaze on top sounds good that way.