birthday treats

date biscuit slice

7th March 2010

My dear friend Anna turned 50 recently, and I was asked to do two things for her celebration.  One, to organise all the flowers for her party and two, to make these delicious biscuits.  So, I spent the morning picking rosemary and lavender to fill many vases. My hands were left scented with lavender and rosemary’s beautiful, intoxicating scent. Lavender would have to be my favourite flower.  This reminds me I need to plant more of it in the garden.

date biscuit slice

These are crumbly, delicate biscuits to handle. The recipe came from my mother and was one of my favourite biscuits growing up. The original recipe had a lot of sugar in the base, which I omitted, substituting the white flour with whole spelt. I find the dates give it enough sweetness, and the icing sugar top is sweet enough in itself.  It’s almost too sweet, but if you need a little sweet craving for satisfaction, these will do the job nicely. I also added walnuts, which give it a nutty depth. It is crumbly and prone to breaking when cutting, so when the icing has solidified, use a very sharp, hot knife, which can be plunged into boiling water occasionally during the cutting process. 


100g unsalted butter

¼ cup/90g molasses/maple syrup

1 cup/120g whole spelt flour

1 cup/80g dried shredded coconut

1 cup/170g pitted dates, chopped into small pieces

¼ cup/25g finely chopped walnuts

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

for the icing

1 cup/140g sugar powder/icing sugar

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

desiccated coconut for sprinkling on top


1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Grease a rectangular 21cm x 29cm tray.

2.  Melt the butter and molasses over medium heat – set aside.

3.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, coconut, dates, walnuts, baking soda and cocoa powder – mix well, then pour in the butter mixture, combining well.

4.  Spread evenly with the back of a spoon into the tray and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

5.  To make the icing, mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder with just a few teaspoons of water until you get a spreadable consistency. Spread the icing over the biscuit base, sprinkle with coconut, allow the icing to set, then cut into squares.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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