How to Make Date Rolls
Dates really are nature’s candy with a super sweet flavor and a soft, creamy texture that given the chance, will become a family favorite because whatever dates lack in looks, they more than make up in flavor. Enjoy is as or simply pit, blend, and roll in chopped nuts to make a delicious date roll.
During the holiday season, when dates are readily available, date rolls can be purchased in most grocery stores or on-line but the best date rolls are the ones made at home with moist, chewy dates and crunchy toasted chopped nuts. Using toasted nuts as opposed to raw nuts gives more flavor and texture to the date roll (and the nuts are crunchier because they have not been sitting ton the date roll absorbing moisture for weeks).
Use any nut but my preference is for almonds, walnuts and pecans but hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia, and coconut can also be used. There are many types of dates whose textures and flavors vary. For this recipe, the Medjool date is used because of two defining characteristics: a moist, soft and creamy texture and a very sweet flavor. These dates are available at most grocery stores or can be ordered on-line from Shields Date Garden (www.ShieldsDateGarden.com) for about $10 a pound (organic).
2 pounds Medjool dates (about 50 extra-large or jumbo)
1/2 cup toasted chopped almonds
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Take a large piece of parchment paper (2 feet by 2 feet) and lay it across the counter top.
Moisten hands (place under faucet and gently wipe with a paper towel) and begin by rolling approximately 2 tablespoons of smashed dates into a 2-1/2 inch roll. Moisten hands periodically to make the batter easy to roll. Place the rolls on the parchment paper and continue until all the date batter is used. There should be about 30 rolls.
Taking one at a time, roll each date roll in either the almonds, pecans, or walnuts, gently pushing the roll into the nuts to cover the entire roll. Return the date roll to the parchment paper and continue until all the date rolls are covered. Store the unused nuts for a future use.
Placed the date rolls in an air tight container (I re-use plastic date containers with an air tight lid) and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to firm them up. The rolls are best enjoyed firm and chilled. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.