Sunday, April 12, 2015


Little date confections, or date nut meringues, or dattelkonfekt--whatever you want to call them, that's what these are.  Or at least they're an approximation thereof, since I'm not sure what they're supposed to taste like and they don't look quite like the pictures on the book.  I liked these better than I thought I would.  For some reason, the natural sweetness of the dates offsets the sugary sweetness of the meringue, and the textures are intriguing.  But I'm still not 100% sold on meringues, although they have the advantage of being remarkably easy to make.  A cookie without flour and butter is just not my kind of cookie.

But it's one of Rose's shortest recipes.  Amass a lot of almonds and dates (nuts and dates don't come cheap, especially good Medjool dates).  Then process them (separately, then together) until "the dates are evenly dispersed and separate."

The egg whites are beaten at medium-low speed.

Sugar is added.

Then the egg whites are beaten another five minutes, until the meringue is "very glossy but will not hold a peak."  Because I'm a meringue novice, I'm not entirely sure that this is the right stage, but it was glossy and it didn't hold a peak, so it must have been close.  I have a feeling that that "close enough for meringue" is not the same standard as "close enough for government work," however.

Finally, the dates, nuts, and meringue are all mixed together until it looks kind of gloppy.  "Gloppy" isn't a word found in the recipe.

Although some of the piped cookies have peculiar shapes, I want to point out that I actually did use a piping bag, much to Jim's surprise.  It didn't surprise him so much that I used it, but that I didn't grumble about using it.  It's the Zen of Baking again.

Are these what they're supposed to look like?  I don't know.  It's what mine looked like.  In order to get four dozen cookies, I had to make them pretty small.  If I'd made them all a bigger and what seems to me a more appropriate size, I think I'd only have gotten about three dozen.  The smallest ones are two-bite cookies (three bites if you're being dainty).  Some of them were chewier than others; some were crisper than others; some were fluffier than others.  I think they're probably too brown, although I took them out after 12 minutes for the first batch, and then after 10.  These are not ready for prime time meringues.

Jim tasted them and said they were "pretty good."  I know Jim's Minnesota vocabulary, and that is not high praise.  He said he'd give them 3.5 out of 5.  Or, he added helpfully, 7 out of 10.  "That's a C," I said.  "Yeah, that's about right.  Maybe a C+."  Then JJ took a bite.  And another.  And another.  "Well, at least the boy likes them," I thought.  After he took 3 bites, he apparently decided he was no longer giving them the benefit of the doubt, and he spit the whole chewed-up mess out.  On the beige rug.  Finally, I ate one.  I would give it a solid B.  I love the dates and almonds, and if this were a date and almond drop cookie with brown sugar, I think I'd be crazy about it, but it's not.

However, did I mention that they were easy?  And have you looked at the picture of the Meringue Birch Twigs?  I sense disaster when I look at the picture of the Meringue Birch Twigs.  But, as Scarlett O'Hara said, "I'll think about that tomorrow."  Or maybe next year.


  1. LOL! I have been looking at the Meringue Birch Twigs too.. they look really so shiny, I thought they were coated with white chocolate. JJ is so cute and adorable! :) I think yours look great and looks like cookies! I didn't really like mine.. I blame it on the dates I used.

  2. I was looking at those birch twigs too. Kind of like you look at something in a cake decorating book that you're never going to make... Maybe we'll ace it like the kouigns.

    I like the Minnesota vocab - just like Faithy's Singaporean 'not too sweet'. And then toddlers have their own, easy to understand, way of getting their opinion across. At least JJ gave it a go.

  3. Why is it that the rug is always beige?!

    Attempting these tonight. There are enough surprised they like them comments coming through - I need to check these out for myself!

    Love Jim's overwhelming assessment. It does however mean that when something is brilliant, at least according to Jim!

  4. I don't know Marie, I think they look quite right to me! I had a tray of them that went flat as a pancake. Your didn't! I really enjoy your conversational tone of your writing. Nice post and nice pics.

  5. They look perfect to me, nicely shaped. Kids are so blatantly honest, beige rug and all. Husbands, more diplomatic. I want to thank you for your kindness for the new baby granddaughter. Fingers crossed she'll be home this evening.

  6. I'm dying to make the birch twigs - the photo of them in the book has completely captured my attention. As for these cookies, I look forward to making them tomorrow, when I hope to get some good daylight photos. Your cookies look very good to me. Tell Jim awesome sugar shot!

  7. Fun times with rugs! That's why I don't have any. I'm in a nutty real estate whirl so a little behind on making these nutty cookies, but I should have a post up tonight. Wheeee.... know anyone who wants to sell me a beautiful 1BR in Brooklyn?

  8. I actually love how your cookies came out.

  9. Hi Marie: Yours are at least puffy. Mine are flat!! I am working on the post now. These aren't going in the favorites file, unfortunately. I am going with the "C" grade also! Love reading your blog, as always!

  10. Oh JJ! At least he's not afraid to be honest. I still grumbled about using the piping bag. The sugar shot is awesome!