Friday, December 2, 2011

Sinbad's Basra Treats

The story of Sinbad indicates that the sailors home base was the city of Basra, which is known for its high quality of dates grown there.

This candy has a chewy base layer made up of macadamias, coconut flavoring and chopped dates.  The top is laden with white chocolate and a chocolate dipped macadamia for decoration. They are quite rich and tasty.

After making these, I have been toying around with the idea of making them into balls instead of using the cups.  The chewy layer is quite sticky so they may be better for serving prepared in balls instead of of in cups, but I am wondering about the extra sweetness added by coating them with more white chocolate. The recipe below makes 3 dozen candies.

Sinbad's Basra Treats
by flourtrader

1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts plus 36 whole nuts for decoration
1 cup ground vanilla wafers
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 tbs shortening
1 cup chopped dates
1 tsp coconut extract

Line mini muffin tins with liners.  I used paper, but next time I will definitely use the sturdier foil cups.

In a small bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and the coconut extract. Then take out a larger bowl and whisk together the ground nuts and vanilla wafer crumbs.  Pour the coconut/sweetened milk mixture into the bowl of nuts and wafer crumbs.  Stir until no dry streaks remain.  Blend in the chopped dates, making sure all is evenly distributed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.

After the dough is chilled, roll the mixture into 36 one inch balls and place each in lined mini muffin cavities.  You might have to do this in dozen batches if you have only one pan.  If so, just place dough back in fridge until the others have set so you can use the same pan again. Fill a small bowl with warm water.  Dip a soup spoon into the warm water and let the water drip off.  Using the back of the spoon, flatten the balls of candy into the paper cups.  The candy should touch all sides of the liners and be smooth on top.

Then set up your double boiler and fill the top pan with white chocolate chips and shortening.  Place over heat and stir until all chocolate and shortening is melted and smooth.  I had a problem with this because I do not have a double boiler and the steam caused the chocolate to quickly seize up.  Anyhow, spoon about a teaspoon of chocolate onto the date candy layer.  Then dip half of a whole macadamia nut into the chocolate and place on the center of each candy. Repeat this process until all candies are coated in chocolate and decorated.   Place pan in fridge for about 20-30 minutes or until chocolate has set.
                               **LAST YEAR: Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls**