Date Rolls

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For the dough

  • 1 cup spelt or all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups dates (8 ounces), pitted and chopped


To make the dough

Combine flour and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and work it into the flour with your fingers until it is crumbly. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in 2 tablespoons water. Gently knead the dough until it comes together, just a few seconds. Add additional water if too dry. Chill the dough for 10 minutes.

To make the filling

To make the filling, combine butter, water and chopped dates in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, covered, for about 10 minutes. Stir dates, pressing down, until they form a soft paste. Remove and cool.

To make the rolls

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.

On a floured board, roll out and flatten a ball of dough. Shape into a rectangle about 1/4-inch-thick. Spread date mixture thinly over the top. Roll the rectangle into a roll and continue to roll back and forth until it grows thinner and longer, about 20 inches. Slice the roll into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces.

Place all slices side by side on the prepared baking sheet and poke the tops lightly with a fork. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly colored (if you overcook them, they become hard). Allow to cool, then dust with powdered sugar.

Special notes:

Adapted from “Cooking the Middle Eastern Way” by Christine Osborne

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