When it comes to the fruit that most reminds me of Morocco you might be surprised to know it’s actually a date. Before visiting here, I’d barely ever eaten them but since moving here. you can say I have dates almost every day. They’re great alone, but they also work well in baking. These no-bake date cookies are a great example.
A long-term project of mine has been to learn to make several different kinds of Moroccan cookies. Moroccan patisseries (cookie/tea shops) are chock-full of small bite-size cookies that can be bought by the plate or by the kilo. There are women in communities who specifically make these cookies for celebrations.
The one characteristic of these spreads is that they are time-consuming, they really are. Imagine making hundreds of tiny cookies – by hand! For a large wedding, the process takes several days. That’s one of the things I discovered, none of these cookies can be made on an automated assembly line. They’re simply too fussy and must be individually made.
While these cookies are not traditional Moroccan cookies, they remind me a little of makrout filling. Makrout are a type of cookie with a bread/cake texture on the outside and a date filling in the interior. I loved these because my oldest son LOVES raspberries and this was a fun way to incorporate those flavors too.
These easy no bake date cookies are perfect for Ramadan. They also are vegan and gluten-free - safe for everyone at your gatherings!
- 1 1/3 cup (170g) frozen raspberries
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 g) heavy whipping cream (vegan option)
- 7 oz (140 g) white chocolate (vegan option)
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 10 pitted and halved Medjool dates
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 10 oz (200 grams) dark chocolate (vegan)
- 2.5 oz (50 grams) red chocolate chips
- 2.5 oz (50 grams) white chocolate
Place the frozen raspberries into a bowl and add a little bit of warm water to start thawing them.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the gluten-free oats and run for a few seconds to create an oat powder.
In a bowl, add the dates and pour hot water on top of them. Let them soak for 3-5 minutes until they are completely soft. You may need more or less time depending on how soft your dates were to begin with.
Add the dates into the food processor with the oats Run the food processor until it forms a dough. (if the mixture is too dry, add some of the water that the dates were soaking in). Pour everything into a bowl and cover. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Drain the raspberries of any liquid that is gathered in the bowl and place them into the bowl of the food processor. Blend until it becomes liquid - similar to a smoothie.
Pour the liquid through a fine sieve into a small pot for the stovetop. Make sure to press down to extract all of the juice while leaving behind as many seeds as possible.
Bring the liquid to medium-low heat. Mix in the whipping cream and heat the mixture for around 8-10 minutes.
On another burner prepare a double boiler and melt the white chocolate. Once fully melted, mix it with the raspberry liquid and set it aside for about 30 minutes, until it cools down. You do not need to put it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Take the oat and date dough and place it in between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
With the help of a rolling pin, flatten the dough to 1/2 inch in thickness. Take a cookie cutter (you can use a glass or a ramekin) and cut as many cookies as you can from the dough.
Repeat the process until all of the dough has been used. You should be able to get around 24 discs.
Separate the discs into pairs and pour some of the raspberry sauce onto one disc of each couple/pair.
Prepare a double boiler again and melt the dark chocolate. Once melted, pour over the other discs that do not have raspberry sauce.
Set the cookies aside to dry.
Once the discs dry up, melt some white chocolate. With the help of a pastry bag, decorate the top of the cookies. Let them dry and repeat the same process with red-colored chocolate. (if you struggle to find red chocolate, dye some white chocolate with food coloring).
Once the toppings harden, add a little bit of chocolate to the bottom of the cookies and press them into a sandwich. You could also keep them as halves if you feel they are too large.
These can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.