Makroota sugar-free date cookies are an Arabic dessert originating in Palestine. These delicate cookies are a delicious combination of spices and are sweetened only by the date filling. These are delicious and aromatic and super easy to make leaving your house smelling amazing! If you’ve been following my stories on Instagram, then you would know how much I love dates, from Coconut Nut Stuffed Dates to the festive Date Mamoul, the most delicious Date And Rose Water Scones I invented, and many more.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a small bowl combine yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Dilute, cover with a saucer and set aside for 10 minutes.
To make the dough, mix the flour, spices, and seeds in a medium size bowl. Add the olive oil and crumble using your fingers until somewhat crumbly. Pour in the diluted yeast and warm water and knead until you have a uniform dough ball. Rest for 30 minutes.
To prepare the date filling, drizzle approximately 1 tablespoon of olive over the dates and microwave for 3 minutes to soften. Stir the mixture until it becomes a paste. Dip your hands in olive oil so the mixture does not stick and roll into a smooth ball.
Alternatively, soften over medium to low heat over the stove. Cool.
Divide dough and dates into 4 equal portions. Roll out dough into 1 cm thick rounds. Dip your hands in olive oil and flatten one date portion on a non-stick paper or stretch out with your hands.
Place the date over the dough and gently press. Sprinkle ½ a tablespoon of ground walnut across the middle.
Roll, pressing firmly into a log! Place the joint side down and gently flatten with the tip of your fingers. Generously oil a sharp knife, and slice the Makroola log on an angle into 3-4 cm thick pieces. Carefully transfer the cookies onto a tray lined with nonstick paper and place them 3 cm apart (dough side up). Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Repeat.
Alternatively, divide the pastry into two portions. Oil a 23 cm round baking tin. On an oiled bench, roll out one dough portion using your hands and place it in the base of the baking tin. Stretch and flatten the date on non-stick paper and place over the dough pressing gently to spread the date evenly (best done with oily hands) Scatter walnuts all over. Roll out the remaining dough and place it on top spreading gently to cover the date.
Using a sharp knife, slice it in half. Then cut each half in half, then each quarter in half. Next, cut each section making diamond cuts. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or golden in colour. Set aside to cool.