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Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During this month-long observance fasting during daylight hours is practised and when the fasting period ends, a celebration called Eid-ul-Fitr, featuring widespread feasting, commences. Because Ramadan is observed by Muslims of many nationalities — each with their own culinary traditions — there is no one set menu for this celebration. These cookies are from the Middle Eastern tradition.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ tsp pure orange oil
- 6 – 8 tbsp ice water
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tsp honey
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup dried, pitted dates
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup dried apricots
- pinch cinnamon
- ½ tsp each finely grated orange and lemon peel
- ¼ cup pistachios, peeled and slightly toasted
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl or food processor, mix flour, with sugar and salt.
- Cut or pulse butter into flour mixture until mealy looking.
- Drizzle in orange oil and, mixing, gradually, add just enough water to create a stiff dough.
- Knead gently on a lightly floured board and pat into a disc.
- Wrap and set aside while making filling (note: dough can be briefly chilled if it seems sticky or begins to look greasy)
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, cook the orange juice, honey, lemon juice, dates, raisins and apricots for about 5 minutes to soften.
- Add cinnamon, orange and lemon peel.
- Cook over low heat until mixture is pasty.
- Cool well then place in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Stir in the nuts.
- Roll dough out between sheets of wax paper to ¼ inch thick (5 mm) and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) rounds.
- Fill with a dollop of filling and pinch to close.
- Place formed cookies on baking sheet and bake in centre of preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until very lightly browned.
- Cool on a rack.