Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Baking Bible: Dattelkonfekt

Dattelkonfekt, or date confections, or date-nut meringues, are a surprisingly addictive cookie. They don't seem like much; in fact upon first sampling I gave then a resounding, "eh." But they sneak up on you, and suddenly you discover you've easily eaten about six of them while reading up on next week's baking project. Now I love them, and the only thing I regret is that there isn't any chocolate in them.



These are a super easy confection to make with a list of ingredients you can count on one hand: egg whites, sugar, almonds, dates, and vanilla extract.

The almonds are ground up in the food processor. Rose prefers unblanched sliced almonds as they have a more almondy flavor. I could only find blanched so I gave mine a little toast to punch up their flavor, plus I was worried they would taste a bit raw in the final cookie, and I don't like that.



Next the almonds are removed from the processor so that the dates can be ground down into a sticky mass. Then the nuts are pulsed back in and set aside.


Then the whites get beaten in the mixer at supposedly medium-low speed until soft peaks are held. I decided this must be a typo (which I don't think it is) and beat them at medium-high. The sugar is added and mixed (now really at medium high) for exactly five minutes. Rose warns that at this stage the whites will not hold a peak but will be glossy. Check. Mix in the vanilla, then add the dates and almonds, and that's that.

kinda looks like super milky oatmeal
 The sticky batter gets piped onto either fancy schmancy Back-Oblaten (which I had never heard of before) or onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I opted for the parchment.

I suck at piping, so the first batch of piped meringues look like somebody who sucks at piping piped them. (Peter Piper piped a peck of peculiar patties!)


The second batch is a bit better (except I bumped the cookie sheet on the way to the table and that one cookie fell off)

.

The cookies baked for a bit longer than the maximum time suggested to get a pale brown color. I like them as is, which is to say crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. However, I wonder what they would be like if they were baked to a nice toasty brown? I might like that, too.


People who dislike the sickly sweetness of meringue have nothing to worry about here. Nuts do a wonderful job of offsetting sweet meringue, and the dates actually contribute some really nice jammy/fruity notes without adding more sweet. Super easy to bake, and super easy to eat. A surprise winner!

5 comments:

  1. that's just how i felt about them on first bit--eh and then i fell in love with them! great photos!

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    Replies
    1. thank you, Rose! I'm so glad you gave them another chance so that we could fall in love with them, too.

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  2. Oh what a fun post to read! My sentiments exactly. And now they are all gone! I'm sad. This is a perfect pictorial. Peter Piper indeed!
    I put orange oil in a batch and the flavor was amazing.

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  3. Your cookies look amazing! Glad you liked them!

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  4. great post, and i likes how your cookies came out, great job!

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