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Middle Eastern Date Nut Candy


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4 replies to this topic

#1 marcelcat

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 09:52 AM

Last year on a trip to Jerusalem, we bought some 'candy' from a street vendor. The vendor had these nut 'bars' that were long bars of one or another kind of nut in a very sticky almost solid base. They cut off sections so we could buy as much or little as we wanted. We're trying to find a recipe so we can make them at home. One person suggested the sticky base is a date syrup that is thickened like a sugar based candy by cooking to the proper temperature, but they didn't have a recipe.

I've searched around on the internet but haven't been able to find any recipe. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks.

#2 andiesenji

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:08 PM

Date nut candy from Syria

1 cup walnuts ( or pistachios, almonds, or whatever) chopped fine
1 cup dates, seeded and chopped fine

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon syrup (original recipe calls for Lyle’s golden syrup but corn syrup will work)

Combine the sugar, water and syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until it reaches 235-240° F. (112-116°C) “Soft ball stage.”

Remove the syrup from heat and let cool to 120°F

Add the dates, stir until completely blended, then add the nuts and blend until evenly distributed.

On a sheet of baker’s parchment, distribute a 2-inch wide mound of the candy along the length of the parchment, leaving 2 inches clear at each end.
Fold over one side and pack the candy into a long roll then flatten into a bar.
(You can also use the “Release” aluminum foil.)

Repeat with the remainder of the candy - should produce about two bars, each 10-12 inches long.

Cut into 1-inch pieces or thinner slices if you don't flatten the bar too much.

You can roll these in cornstarch, finely grated coconut, sesame seeds or nut meal so the cut candies won’t stick together.

This can also be made with any other dried fruit, figs, apricots, etc.
The person who gave me the recipe said that she often adds fennel seeds (toasted), sesame seeds (toasted) and
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#3 Jaymes

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 06:21 AM

Last year on a trip to Jerusalem, we bought some 'candy' from a street vendor. The vendor had these nut 'bars' that were long bars of one or another kind of nut in a very sticky almost solid base. They cut off sections so we could buy as much or little as we wanted. We're trying to find a recipe so we can make them at home. One person suggested the sticky base is a date syrup that is thickened like a sugar based candy by cooking to the proper temperature, but they didn't have a recipe.

I've searched around on the internet but haven't been able to find any recipe. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks.


Did the "very sticky almost solid base" have a consistency similar to jelly beans? If so, perhaps it was a version of Turkish Delight, available throughout the Middle East.

#4 marcelcat

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 08:13 AM

thank y'all so much!! the recipe from Andie sounds just like the candy!! We'll try it next weekend!!

Many many thanks!!
marcelcat

#5 andiesenji

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 09:32 AM

I should add that since date syrup can now be found in specialty markets, you can use that or any other very thick syrup, treacle or molasses. I dug out the file card on which the original recipe is typed and there is a note that if the dates are very dry from long storage, you can pour boiling water over them to barely cover and let them soak overnight, save the liquid and mix it with the sugar syrup. Also you can use date sugar or you can also use brown sugar as the original recipe was probably made with unrefined sugar.
Don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients as long as you get the proportions correct. You might "invent" something unique.

Edited by andiesenji, 19 October 2009 - 09:32 AM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening