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Bradj | Algerian Date Bar Cookies




بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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The Bradj are an Algerian specialty, mainly Eastern in origin.  Dates are in season in late Autumn and Winter but Bradj also called M'braj or Lembraj are often made in the months of March to May, usually to mark the coming of spring in celebration of the beginning of the fertile season.  But today date paste is packaged and avalible all year, so this  delicious bar cookie can be enjoyed year round with a glass of fresh milk or lben, fermented milk.

Bradj is a rustic type of bar cookie; not too complicated to prepare - the most difficult part might just be the little dexterity needed to transfer the unbaked galette from your work surface to the pan. These generously spiced semolina triangles are stuffed with a fragant  date that melts in the mouth.  But it is worth preparing, as success and delight with these pastries will come  naturally and easily.

It's also mention that with the same dough, you can also make makrouts; small diamond-shaped pastries well known throughout the Maghreb. The latter, unlike bradj, are fried or baked and then dipped in honey ...

And without the date filling, this same dough can become M'takba. Simple diamond semolina cooked in the pan as the Bradj then dipped in honey ... I'll post these in the future!

Most Algerian cooks don't precisely measure their spices. And to be honest; I don't either.  I measure by pouring amounts into my palm as I know about how much can hold. "Measuring" is done by eye and experience, and not with standard measuring spoons. Even when you ask an Algerian about measurements, they'll give you vague measurements that are more like ratios.  But in order to make all the recipes on here accessible I throughly think and calculate the measurements for you all.

This naturally sweet and fragant bar cookies are a prefect filling with a warm cup of milk or mint tea to celebrate anytime of the year! So I urge you to try them out! Here I also just found this date carrot cookie recipe, which I'd like to try soon -  this week!


Bradj

Algerian Date Bars 

cookies| yields about 30 cookies
KITCHEN TIME 🕓  
ACTIVE PREP TIME: 20mins
INACTIVE PREP TIME: 2 hrs
COOK TIME: 10 min mins
۞ = SUBSTITUTIONS

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DOUGH

  • 500 - 3 cups of medium grained semolina
  • generous pinch of sal
  • 115g - ½  cup of real butter, melted
  • 115g - ½  cup of light and fruity olive oil
  • 230ml - 1 cup tepid water
  •  Optional - 2 tsp nigella seeds (sanoudj/ habbat el baraka)
                           
FILLING

  • 300g date paste
  • 1 TBS toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 cap fulls (about 2 tsp) of orange blossome water
  • zest of one orange (my secret touch)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Optional - whole almonds

METHOD 

MIX the cinnamon, orange blossom water, oil and dates in a bowl until you have a soft and smooth spreadable paste. Alternatively, if your date paste is dry and hard, you can steam it for a few minutes to soften it up. Set the mixture aside.

COMBINE the semolina, nigella seeds and salt in a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour into the melted butter and oil into the bowl. Coat the grains of semolina with the oil/butter mixture by grubbing it between your hands and fingers.

GRADUALLY pour a little of the tepid water on the semolina. Gently squeezed and bring the semolina and water together. Don't knead or overwork the dough. Once the water has been absorbed, continue adding more until you have used all the water. The dough should be soft and malliable, but not sticky.

DIVIDE the dough into 2 equal balls. Flatten the balls into disks about 1cm in thickness. You can use a rolling pin or your hands for this step.

SPREAD the date mixture evenly on one of the semolina disks (a rubber spatula helps) Then top the base with the remaining semolina round.

PRESS the 3 layered disk gently to flatten and even out. Cut the round galette with a knfe into 6 or 8 triangles. Optionally - decorate the bradj by imprinting them with cookie cutters.

HEAT a tadjine or cast iron pan on medium fire. Once heated, gently lift the triangles with a spatula onto the pan.

BAKE on for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip over and continue to bake for another additional 2-3 minutes. Remove and transfer to a platter. Repeat with all the triangles.

Bars can keep in airtight container for about 2 weeks.


    Size- Wise

    You can cut these date bars into smaller squares, diamond or lozange shapes.
    Subsitute
    Subsitute cornmeal or rice semolina for the regular (wheat) semolina for gluten-free diets. 
    Variation
    You can vary the flavour of the filling by adding ground ginger or allspice to the date mixture.
    Time-Wise
    The dough can be made ahead then frozen until ready to eat; allow about 2 hours to thaw on countertop

     CATEGORIES:  VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, HEALTHIER, AUTUMN, COOKIES



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          4 comments:

          1. Heni these sound heavenly. I have ma'amouls in my list to do, so I will be waiting for your version before I make them.

            ReplyDelete
          2. Ma'amoul is also on my list. But then again there are many things on my list LOL!

            My friend and I were just talking about ma'amoul after we found these nice moulds in the market.

            Sooo yes, written on my list!

            ReplyDelete
          3. Salam alaikum sis,
            masha'Allah that looks so tasty, ive made makrout before so I should give this a go, soon in sha Allah
            thank you for sharing

            ReplyDelete
          4. I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!

            Also visit my web site; simply click the next site

            ReplyDelete

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