Arabian Flowers

This is the perfect, healthy and wow biscuit, it only has a few ingredients and no sugar or butter.ย  I had learnt to make Arabian Flowers over the spring time when one of my husband’s cousins was getting married. Leading up to the wedding, a variety of food was made at their home for all the different events that took place. I was so glad and grateful for the opportunity when we were asked to help make these show stoppers!!ย  It is always good to learn and share new recipes. I was just so pleased that the humble puff pastry and dried dates can be made into such beautiful and pretty looking biscuits. The main ingredient is dried dates, and I don’t really enjoy dry dates very much, but love fresh dates, so for people like me and children it is a good way to get us to eat food that is good for us ๐Ÿ™‚ Dates are said to be rich in fibre, calcium, vitamins and minerals, and also said to have good medicinal properties.

Arabian Flowers

The original recipe had rose essence and just milk to soften the dates, but I have modified it slightly andย  added cream as it gives it a much softer and better texture to the dates mix. Adding some spices, or even mixing the dates with figs will give these biscuits a whole new flavour twist but I have yet to try it myself. These are great served warm with some Greek yoghurt and honey or even vanilla ice-cream. You could make this and keep the flowers frozen to heat and eat when ever you want to impress your guests.

Ingredients

Preparation time: 2 hrs ย ย ย ย  Cooking time: 45minsย ย ย ย ย ย  Makes: 30 to 35 biscuits

1 pack puff pastry

200g pack of pitted dried dates

1 tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 tbsp finely chopped almonds, cashews and pistachios

4 tbsp double cream or milk

Method

1) On a heavy base saucepan, over a medium heat, cook the dates, constantly mixing and breaking the dates down as you go. You will have to be very careful not to burn or over cook the dates.

2) Once they soften slightly, add the finely chopped nuts, cocoa powder, and cream or milk, mix well. Cook for just a few minutes to the consistency of a soft dough. You can reheat, adding some more milk or cream if you feel that it is too hard.

3) As soon as you can handle the dates mixture, on slightly greased palms roll the mixture to small balls about 2 cm diameter. Keep aside and let them cool while you roll out the pastry.

4) Roll the pastry to roughly 3 mm thickness and cut with a 5 cm round cookie cutter. It is very important that the pastry is kept at the correct temperature as it does not work well if kept at room temperature for too long, so you will have to keep it in the fridge or freezer for 20 to 30 mins.

5) Place a ball of the dates mixture in the middle of the circle of pastry. Pull the pastry over and completely cover the ball, trying to remove as many creases as possible to make a larger ball. You can remove any excess pastry if you feel there is too much. Flatten this pastry ball slightly using the palms of your hands.

6) Before cutting the filled balls, place in the freezer for a little while as the flower shape will not not form properly. Make six cuts into the flattened ball from the edge to just off the centre (as shown in the picture). Make sure you do not go right to the centre, otherwise you’ll get six separate wedges.

7) To create the flower, with your thumb and index or middle finger, pinch and twist each cut segment about 90 degrees in one direction and then flatten them slightly to create a petal shape. Practice makes perfect, you will get the hang of it after a few goes, just be patient ๐Ÿ™‚ The trouble is worth the effort! Once the flower is created place on a baking sheet, ready to go into the oven.

8.) Once all the flowers have been made bake in a preheated oven at 200’C for 20 mins or until golden brown. Let them cool slight and enjoy.

Click on an individual image below to see a larger version.

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11 Responses to “Arabian Flowers”

  1. Ben Says:

    Gorgeous pastries! But puff pastry is made with butter, isn’t it? But who cares? they look really delicious ๐Ÿ˜€

    Kiran ~ Oops forgot about the butter ! A little bit of naughty is always nice to have with good food, I look at it as ying and yang.

  2. Raju Says:

    looking at these delicate flowers it looked too complicated to make – but with the help of the photos I managed. This sure impressed my friends I now have the title of an artistic kitchen goddess. Thanks Kiran for inspiring me in the kitchen

    Kiran ~ Glad to be of service ‘kitchen goddess’. We are each an inspiration to the other in many ways.

  3. Madhuram Says:

    Hi Kiran, thanks for dropping by and the nice words about my blog. That’s a beautiful way to use puff pastry. The cookies look very cute. Very good pictorial presentation too.

    I think you have not registered with http://foodworld.redchillies.us, which is a food blog aggregator. You can get to know a lot of desi food bloggers and vice versa once you register.

    Kiran ~ I was so wowed by this recipe that I jsut thought I wanted to share with as many people as possible. I might jsut have a look at the site you mentioned, thanks for that.

  4. Smit Says:

    Hey Kiran Fai and Anjay Fua!!

    Awesome website….mum now wants me to print this recipe and help her make these cool Arabian flowers with her =] im receiving full fledged training in the kitchen from her now that im on my BLUDGE holidays lol

    missing u and my cute cuz

    Kiran ~ I am so glad you are learning to cook, have lots of fun. Missing you heaps, tell me how these turn out. Lots of love

  5. Kunal Says:

    Nice Website.

  6. Parita Says:

    Hi Kiran, lovely website you have got with some amazing recipes ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have one question, can i make the above cookie using any other stuffing? can you pls suggest?
    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kiran ~ Thank you for dropping by, when I first learnt this recipe and come home and wrote it in my recipe book, i put down a few ideas which I have not tried yet. You can try fig and dates, make a savoury mixture using potatoes as a base. Let me know if you try anything out and it works for you. I like your site and may try the strawberry muffins soon. All the best ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Reena Says:

    Hey Kiran

    All the food looks yummy, but particularly impressed with these, they look soooo pretty.
    Mum and I still browsing – it’s nearing lunch and we are starving!!!
    Love
    Reena
    (Leicester)

    Kiran ~ Thanks for looking through all of my blog. These taste equally as good as they look, give them a go & let me know how they turned out.

  8. Nora Says:

    Hi Kiran,
    I was just led here from the UKFBA because I saw the picture of these beautiful biscuits. They are just gorgeous and are going straight to the top of my to-make list! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Kiran ~ Thank you so much for coming by, please let me know how they turn out. When I gave the idea to a friend she gave me some more ingredients that could be added to the paste i.e. coconut, and allspice or ginger powder as well. I have yet to try it but I am sure that it will taste great the combination sounds great.

  9. vrinda Says:

    So cute and yummy cookies..gr8 effort…

  10. Mina Says:

    Absolutely lovely recipe. I love the detail you have given! The biscuits look lovely.

  11. tooish Says:

    hi! great recipe! I am just wondering, I don’t have any puff pastry with me so can I use a different delicate dough? or maybe if you could share with me a recipe on how to make the puff pastry, thanks ma’am

    Kiran ~ Sorry for the late response, you can try using shortcrust pastry and see how that works.

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