Thursday, April 16, 2015

Midweek Roundup: Pretty Good for a Dattelkonfekt

Photo by Nancy Barber
Bread and Cake and More

Vicki's experience was typical of those who had nothing good to say about meringues and were making this because it was the assigned project of the week.  She said, "I would never willingly make meringue cookies."  But, she concluded, these are not really meringue cookies.  They're "like a chewy confection, reminiscent of Italian nougat candy, only much lighter."   And a few drops of orange oil "really upped the flavor."

Mendy's experience was similar.  He said, "These did not seem so great at first.  They are rather chewy and bland at first bite.  However, they have a very nice aftertaste and I now have a bit of an addiction."

Likewise, Jen.  She called the dattelkonfekt "a surprisingly addictive cookie."  "They don't seem like much; in fact upon first sampling I gave them a resounding "eh."  But they sneak up on you, and suddenly you discover you've easily eaten about six....  Now I love them, and the only thing I regret is that there isn't any chocolate in them."

And Kristina:  "I honestly wasn't expecting much ....  I thought I might enjoy the almond/meringue part, and tolerate the dates, which I hated, growing up....   [but] didn't think anyone else would like them... "  After watching the Roller Derby with some friends, ....  I offered these cookies to our friends, and to my surprise, they were a big hit.  I really like them, too, which means they can't stay at home."

These were not surprise winners for everyone.  Some people expected them to be winners, and were not disappointed.  For Orin, dattelkonfekt are a "must" for every Passover, although her traditional recipe has peanuts rather than almonds.  She likes them because of their chewiness, which "comes from both the dates and the meringue to create a just-right hard texture followed by a mouthful of flavors....   We named them the 'can't stop eating them' cookies."

Likewise, Kim "loved these cookies.  They are my kind of cookie through and through.  The crispy meringue offset by the chewy date is a texture to really groove on."  Kim used edible nougat paper instead of back oblaten, which was a helpful nugget of information for those who make these cookies for Passover.  (Mendy noted that he did not use the oblaten because that would be chametz, resulting in Chametz Oblaten Dattelkonfekkt).

And Katya said, "Dattelkonfekt has many of the ingredients I love--meringue, sturdy sweetness, simplicity--and although I'm not usually given to the sticky sweetness of dates, I do eat more of them around Passover, especially when I'm feeling Sephardic,  So, in a way, this cookie links my Jewish identities.  It's a perfect Passover treat, in that it's both flourless and kind of tastes like charoset, at least the date/orange kind I've been making in recent years."   Although most people stuck pretty closely to this recipe, Katya used walnuts instead of almonds, and filled in with brown sugar when she ran out of white sugar.

Even some of the people who didn't particularly like the meringues found that others loved them.
Nancy, for example, said that "This is not my sort of cookie, though with the almonds it's a great improvement over a pure meringue that's (to me) nothing but sugar,"  But she noted that, "For those who liked cookies in the meringue class, this one went over well--several people too one then came back to ask for more--always a good sign."

Although some people loved the texture (Raymond described them as "light with crispy edges and a wonderful chewy center"), others were frustrated by their cookies' flatness.  Catherine, for example, described herself as a "reasonably competent" meringue maker, but found that these meringues deflated and got very soft shortly after she made them.  She thought she would end up breaking them up and mixing them with ice cream, maybe with chocolate sauce.  (Talk about making lemonade when life hands you lemons).

Faithy also had deflation problems.  Although hers came out of the oven looking "quite puffy," they flattened out while they were cooking.  She suspects that "flourless anything has the tendency to absorb moisture in the air like a magnet."  Consequently, she rated the cookies as only "so-so."

Michele was looking forward to the crisp meringue crust and chewy center that others had described.  Instead, she got a very flat cookie.  Although it was "not what she was expecting," it was "tasty," and she would make them again if she could figure out how to get them "puffy and crispy."

There was, not too surprisingly, a difference of opinion about whether these cookies were too sweet.
 Orin says, "Despite the amount of sugar ..., you will be surprised that it's just right."  Jen says the nuts "offset the sweetness of the meringue" in this "surprise winner."  

But Milagritos found them "fragrant, delicate, and so very sweet."  Although she reduced the sugar  by half, she still found them much too sweet,  She loved the "most enticing and subtle scent" of the cookies, but her "teeth hurt at the mere mention" of them.  Next time, she would use no sugar at all.

Raymond has always found meringues "sickeningly sweet," but found these light cookies perfect for tea and not too sweet at all.  

And, of course, we all had a little fun with the multi-syllable name.  Vicki said the cookies are "easier to make than to pronounce."  Catherine titled her blog post, "Excuse me, is that your dattelkonfekt?"
Michele said the name "reads like something from IKEA," and Faithy complained that she "couldn't even pronounce" the name, although it sounded "intimidating."

Everyone appreciated the ease of making these cookies.  Although they're not in the Quick and Easy section, they are just that.  Raymond found them so easy he "couldn't believe he was making cookies."

Next up is the Polish Princess.  As Monica has already warned you, this cake should be made a day before assembling, and should be assembled at least 8 hours before serving.  It sounds like without careful advance planning, you could end up with a cake ready to be served at 3 a.m.  Good luck, everyone!


  1. Great photo Nancy. It makes me feel like eating one. Even though mine have turned into very chewy daquoise-type mini pancakes, now frozen. Your round up really captured the variety of experiences, Marie. I don't know how you do it with so many of us!

  2. Beautiful photo and plate Nancy! Great summation Marie!

  3. Wow, Marie! You are a wonder! Thank you so much for another great roundup. I agree with Catherine! I never thought I would be included since I got my baking and blogging done so late this week! :-)