THE GROUND SPICE MIX
½ tbsp ground cinnamon
1¼ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground anise (you can buy star anise and grind down yourself)
¼ tsp ground fennel seed (if you can only find whole, grind down yourself)
¼ tsp ground cloves
canola oil spray
150-160g of pitted dates
1½ tsp of the spice mix
½ tsp almond essence
½ cup white sugar
2 cups plain flour
½ cup (115g) butter, room temperature
¼ cup water
icing sugar for dusting
a round bottom tray. You can find them on Amazon under 'mince pie pan'
Preheat your oven to 175C/350F.
Mix together the spice mix and place in a air tight container. You'll only be using a bit of this mix for this recipe.
Spray the food processor with the canola oil so the dates don't stick.
In batches, heat up the dates (in a small microwavable bowl) in the microwave for 10-15 secs to soften.
Place in the food processor and blend, then repeat with the rest.
By hand, mix the 1½ tsp of spice mix and ½ tsp of almond essence into the date mixture.
In a mixer, beat the butter, then add in the sugar.
Beat for a few minutes until creamy.
Add in the flour, then the water.
Turn out onto a board dusted with plain flour.
Roll out relatively thinly, and cut out circles.
Spray your cookie tray with canola oil spray.
Place one circle into a cookie hole.
Take a small ball of the date mixture, and press with your fingers into a flattened circle.
Place into the cookie tray on top of the dough.
Place another cookie dough circle on top.
Press the middle down, then press the edges together.
Repeat, then place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven, use the back of a large spoon to gently press the centres (to keep the indentation), then set aside to cool.
Dust with icing sugar and serve.