The Great Cookie Experiment – Hedgehog Cookies
Many years ago, my husband was in charge of the church Christmas dinner. This really meant that I was in charge of the church Christmas dinner. We had decided to try a popular Night in Bethlehem type theme where the food and atmosphere was all designed to look like it may have looked in Jerusalem at the time of Christ (okay, if Jerusalem had modern day pop up pavilions and Christmas lights. We tried.). We tried to find food that had a Middle Eastern, Jewish theme, and got my friend Jana (Ed note: *waves* Yes, I’m that Jana) to help find recipes and cater it for us. She did a lot of research and came up with some fabulous and inexpensive things! One of them was a sweet that I have used many times over the years. It’s very easy- take some dates, add some almonds, chop them all up in a food processor, roll into balls, and serve.
This recipe takes that treat to a whole new delicious level! Technically it is a candy since there’s no flour or other baking ingredients but egg. It adds sugar, but not very much, and it’s baked, which melts the sugar, increases the sweetness of the fruit, toasts the coconut, and sets the egg. Maybe it’s not the authentic middle-eastern sweet we started out with, but it’s still a fabulous treat.
Unfortunately, the entire thing is filled with ingredients that are commonly hated- dates, coconut, and walnuts. There’s just no way around it, if your children don’t like the ingredients, you may not get them to try the cookie, much less admit they like it. Picky eaters beware!
This would be a check-plus if everyone I was making these for liked the ingredients. As I have a few who wouldn’t eat them, I would drop these to a check.
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
½ cup finely chopped dates
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flaked coconut, divided
In a bowl, combine the walnuts, dates and brown sugar. Add ½ cup coconut and the egg. Mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in remaining coconut. Place on grease baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes about 1 ½ dozen.