- 2½ cups Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
Place dates, water, lemon rind and juice, vanilla, ginger and cardamom in a pot. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook 5 minutes or until dates are soft and a little sticky. Cool.
Butter an 8 x 8 metal square pan and line with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 300 F.
Combine flour, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Reserve. Cream butter and sugar until soft and smooth in a separate bowl with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in flour-cornstarch mixture. Pat 2/3 of mixture into the prepared pan and spread date mixture over. Crumble the remaining dough over the dates.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until shortbread is cooked through and the top is pale gold. Cool and cut into squares.
For these date shortbread squares, consider a sweet, nutty oloroso sherry. Beppi Crosariol