Thursday, 27 November 2014

Date & Sesame Cookie Bites

Last night I went down to Bristol for a literary salon, which was organised as a fringe event to the Bristol Women's Literature Festival which will be happening in March.

I didn't really know what to expect, having never been to such a thing before. I went with a friend for mutual moral support, without which probably neither of us would have been brave enough to get through the door, but once we arrived it was lovely: the group was fairly small, the atmosphere was friendly, and we enjoyed varied and engaging discussions. We both agreed that we'd definitely go again, even though it is a bit of a trek to get down there.

Everyone was invited to bring a piece to read - be it poetry, essay, or fiction - and we went around the circle taking turns.

I'd been planning to read a passage by Jo Walton for my turn, but then one of the conversations around an earlier reading got on to the subject of defaults in language, at which point I completely changed my mind. I just had to select a passage from Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice, which does some very interesting things with pronouns (I won't go into detail here, but I reviewed it last week over at Strange Charm, if you're interested).

Aside from my extract from a sci-fi novel, we also had poetry, travelogue, art criticism, and historical fiction. All the pieces were very different, and certainly included some authors I'd be interested to read more of.

And I took a box of cookies, which probably didn't do any harm.

Date & Sesame Cookies

It's almost Christmas (shh, I know, but it's true! Less than a month!) and that means cookies will soon be coming out of your ears. I designed this recipe with a seasonal snack table in mind - they're bite sized (so you can try a few different things without feeling guilty) and not too terribly sweet.

Date & Sesame Cookies

Date & Sesame Cookie Bites
Makes approx. 55 mini cookies

3 cups (500g) plain white flour
⅔ cup (180g) white granulated sugar
1 cup (170g) dark molasses sugar
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
250g (2¼ American sticks) butter
1 cup (170g) date pieces
6tbsp sesame seeds
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Melt the butter (I just zap it for a minute in the microwave) and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Mix the flour, sugars, and baking powder in a large bowl (breaking up any larger lumps of sugar).
  4. Add the melted butter, vanilla extract, and eggs. Stir and knead until all combined into a thick dough.
  5. Add the dates and sesame seeds, and knead into the dough until evenly distributed.
  6. Form into small balls, each about the size of a walnut. 
  7. Arrange the balls on a greased baking sheet, and press gently to flatten. Make sure to leave enough space around each cookie, as they will spread to approximately double the size as they cook.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

"Not too sweet" is especially good at this time of year, I agree!

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