Chocolate on Chocolate with Extra Blessings

Happy World Chocolate Day, Beautiful People!

Jewish people are obligated to say one hundred blessings every day, and observant Jews are making every effort to do it, well, religiously. There are two reasons for it. First, in Deuteronomy, Moses poses a rhetorical question to the people:”What does G-d ask of you?” Says the Talmud that the word “Mah” (What) should be read as “Meah” – one hundred, thus obligating us to say one hundred Brochos (blessings) a day. Since Hebrew generally is written without vowels, it makes perfect sense. Secondly, during the times of King David’s reign, there was a terrible plague; one hundred people died every day. “Ah! – remembered the King,- let’s all start saying those one hundred Brohos a day!” They did, and the plague stopped. Thus, the rule was reinforced empirically, so to speak.

david

No doubt, it’s a great way to keep us in good health, but how do we get to this number? If you do your math and divide 100 into a typical 16-hour day, you’ll have to say a blessing every ten minutes! So the scholars added up all the blessings that are included in the three daily services and came up with… ninety! Where do we get ten more? Why, we do have to eat every day, so if you add the blessings before and after the meals, you reach your goal. Fine? We are done? Not yet, not that quick! You see, on Shabbos, the three services contain only seven blessings each, as opposed to the nineteen blessings each on weekdays. So we are short again – oy vey! And on Shabbos, the holiest of the days!

To get out of this sticky situation, we have cookies and cakes. Every time you grab a cookie or a piece of cake, you have to say Brochos, both before and after. No wonder we bake, and bake, and bake, especially for Shabbos!  There is only one condition: those baked goods must contain grain. In other words, they could be gluten free if you consider spelt gluten free, but you should really ask your doctor. Almond, coconut, corn, rice, and other types of gluten free flours do not qualify.

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Therefore, to keep my husband, who has a major sweet tooth, in good health by giving him a chance to say those one hundred Brohos a day, I put these chocolate peanut butter date cookies on a spelt cookie crust – also chocolate, of course!

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First you have to soak the dates. Even though I usually get pitted Medjool dates, I still check for pits that are sometimes accidentally found. My food processor doesn’t like to be surprised!

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While the dates are soaking, you can make the crust. You need spelt flour, Smart Balance or any other butter substitute, baking powder, brown sugar, and unsweetened cocoa. Cream Smart Balance with sugar and add the dry ingredients.

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Now comes the tricky part. Lightly mist a baking sheet with oil, plop your batter on it, cover it with plastic wrap and flatten it.

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Use a rolling pin to make it uniformly thin, about 1/4 inch or less (1/2 cm). Lift the plastic and grab a fork. Stab the dough with a fork criss-cross to indicate one inch squares. Those will be your breaking lines. Stick it in the oven for about 20 minutes and get back to your dates that are ready to be processed. Drain the water and process them together with some olive oil and coconut milk, peanut butter, vanilla and agave, and don’t forget cocoa! Keep pulsing and scraping the sides until you get a creamy delicious paste.

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Your crust should be ready by now, but you need to cool it first, otherwise your cookie squares will crumble. Meanwhile, keep your date paste refrigerated. Once the cookie squares are cooled sufficiently, you can separate them and marry them with their dates. Aren’t they lucky! Cover each square with a tablespoon of date paste and flatten it lightly to give it a nice shape.

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Top them with berries or nuts (I also added some candy sparkles, just for fun!) and enjoy them in good health!

INGREDIENTS

Cookie Crust:

  • 2/3 cup Smart Balance or any butter substitute of your choice at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup spelt flour

Date Paste:

  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 30 min
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon or more agave
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup or more unsweetened cocoa powder

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cream butter with sugar. Stir in the rest of crust ingredients.
  • Spread the batter evenly in lightly misted with oil baking pan. Cover batter with plastic wrap and flatten with rolling pin to 1/8 inch (1/2 cm) thickness. Prick with fork to indicate 1-inch square breaking lines.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes until edges turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in pan. Gently break into squares.
  • Soak dates for 30 minutes. Process all ingredients, add more cocoa and/or agave if necessary.  Scrape sides and pulse to a creamy uniform paste. Refrigerate until cookie crusts are cooled off.
  • Cover each cookie crust with a tablespoon of date paste, lightly flatten to shape. Top with berries or nuts.

Enjoy!

83 Comments Add yours

  1. Silk Cords says:

    Tasty! The date paste is a clever spin also.

    And Chocolate Day?!? FINALLY! A holiday I can get behind. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear friend; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you as well, for remembering on the fantastic recipes, Dolly! Always worth to re-cook. Have a nice rest of the week, and a wonderful Shabos. xx Michael

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Many of them I don’t remember but invent, Michael. I am an adventurer and explorer in my kitchen and in life.
        Have a great weekend, dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think exporing and inventing is the best one can do, not only in the kitchen. 😉 xx

        Like

      4. I totally agree, dear Michael.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. looks super yummy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, David.
      As today is my birthday, I am taking this opportunity to give you and your family Brochot for health, happiness, and success.
      When you make a L’haim on Shabbat, remember that GEFEN is an abbreviation of Gezunt, Parnassa, and Nachas from the children, and I give you Brochot for all of that.
      Much love,
      D
      😻

      Liked by 2 people

      1. How can one woman have so much sweetness to offer, Dolly? Do you even have room for any other ingredients on your shelf? Happy Birthday!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much, darling!

        Like

      3. I forgot, so sorry! I am giving you a Brocho for health, happiness, and success in all your endeavors.

        Like

  3. Happy World Chocolate Day, Dolly! Thank you for remembering on this recipe. Its much more healthier then eating chocolate pure. Its also much more amazing. :-)) Have a nice rest of the week! xx Michael
    P.S.: I am now selfhosted at https://books.eslarn-net.de. There i need to repost, because Germany has not adapted the GDPR in a blogger friendly way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Michael, I thank you for your lovely comment. In my opinion, chocolate is the healthiest food in the world (dark and sugar free, of course). Have a wonderful day!

      Like

  4. edwardky2 says:

    Reblogged this on Ed;s Site..

    Like

  5. BERNADETTE says:

    Saying 100 blessings every day doesn’t make room for any bad mouthing – a very nice rule to follow. The recipe is so exotic and delicious looking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right, dear Bernadette, and we consider bad-mouthing a grave sin that ultimately leads to murder, G-d forbid.
      Thank you so much for your kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 15andmeowing says:

    The only thing better than chocolate is chocolate on chocolate. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree, darling! Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Like

  7. I count my blessings every day, because my days are long since Len passed away. Chocolate helps too ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, dear Susie.
      Be well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s really hard, but it will get easier 💔

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It never really goes away, dear Susie, but the pain becomes dull. It will become easier to live with it. Sending blessing your way…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Gladly accepted 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Doug Thomas says:

    Wow! I feel focusing on one blessing a day is a road to happiness, and the concept of 100 would be a 24 hour a day challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I tried to explain in my post, we pray three times a day, and each prayer consists of 19 blessings (even though it is called “18 Blessings” – go figure!), plus the set of morning blessings and a few more before going to sleep, plus every time we eat or drink something, use the bathroom, wash hands, even answer someone who asks ‘How are you?’ It actually adds up very quickly. My grandmother used to say a blessing over every dish she was cooking or baking. When I was little, I had thought she was talking to pots and pans, until she taught me the blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, Senor Roberto. Do you have any prognoses for England vs. Italy on Sunday?

      Like

      1. A pleasure and honor visiting your blog. I am going to do a Special Sports program tomorrow and publish on You Tube where I will give my prognosis. Best wishes

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much, I will look forward to it.

        Like

  9. Many blessings to you for sharing this yummy recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen! Thank you so much, dear Mimi!

      Like

  10. Garfield Hug says:

    Happy World Chocolate Day back at you! I love what you baked. Ooh wish I was next door to you and I will gingerly knock on your door and ask, May I have some of those treats please?! LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sweetheart, if you were next door to me, you wouldn’t have to knock on my door; I would knock on yours with treats in hand! I do that to neighbors with kids.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. 😻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Garfield Hug says:

        Most kind of you Dolly!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We cats like people to appreciate what we do – thank you, darling!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. GP says:

    This is making my mouth water, Dolly! It’s only 6:44 am and I’m anxious for dessert!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chocolate is good for you any time, GP! It’s the healthiest food 24/7.
      Thank you so much for a lovely comment, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My favorite thing about this post is that you mention eating cookies and cake as a way to help fulfill religious obligations 😉
    I’m reminded of one Rosh Hashanah morning years ago when Dad caught me sneaking a cookie for breakfast before shul.
    “Cookies for breakfast?” said Dad.
    “Hey, I said a bracha first,” I responded. “I am a highly spiritual person.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your sharing of a sweet memory, darling; that’s precious!
      One of the Kotzke Rebbe’s chassidim once asked him, ‘Rebbe, why when you and I eat the same apples, it feels like you are performing a holy act.’
      ‘Because,- said the Rebbe,- you say a Brocho in order to eat that apple, and I eat an apple in order to have an opportunity to say a Brocho.’
      I thank you for stopping by and commenting, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Gail says:

    Chocolate is my friend. 💜🍃

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mine too! Thank you so much, dear Gail!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. purpleslob says:

        Me three!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL Who would’ve doubted…

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Despite their obvious attractions, I fear they may be too sweet for me 🙂 Bless you, anyway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen! Thank you very much, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I am always delighted with your posts Dolly! And this is a lovely recipe that contains lots of good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dorothy; I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. schingle says:

    Nice piece. Is it ok if I say 100 blessings for chocolate (or any day) even if I’m an atheist? Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL In His wisdom, He accepts blessings from everyone, atheists included. And what better motivation to say a blessing or a hundred than to do it over chocolate, the best and the healthiest food of all!
      Thank you so much for a delightful comment, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You can’t go wrong with chocolate

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely!
      Thank you so much for topping by, dear friend.

      Like

  18. chattykerry says:

    There was a similar cookie in Egypt but I haven’t seen them for years. Yours look delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I thought I have invented it – oh well… As long as it tastes good.
      Thank you so much, dear Kerry!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. chattykerry says:

        Everything you do is unique, Dolly! There was no chocolate just the date paste sandwiched in cookies. K x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s not fun! Dessert is not dessert without chocolate!
        Thank you for the complement, darling.

        Like

  19. Charlee: “Chocolate on chocolate? I’m pretty sure Dada would gobble those down!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mama says it’s a shame you guys don’t live next door. We agree.
      The Cat Gang.

      Like

  20. Joëlle says:

    Hi Dolly,
    How are you? I hope Elsa hasn’t been mean to you in Florida. We’re bracing for it over here. I hope we can make it to work and back safely — I have never had to drive in a tropical storm before.
    Anyway, I wanted to let you and your readers know that, to my knowledge, sorghum also qualifies as a grain. I use sorghum flour in my gluten-free cookie dough rather than in cake batter because up until now I hadn’t been able to find any with a fine enough grind. But then I just saw that Vitacost sells « finely ground sorghum flour » so it will part of my next order with them so I can give it a try. (They don’t pay me to advertise 😊). Let me know if I am mistaken about sorghum being a grain.
    Life in New England has been busy but I am hoping to write a post before the end of the week — which by French standard is Sunday evening, quite convenient to add an extra day, isn’t it 😊?
    Reading your blog should count as a blessing, Dolly! Thank you for the recipe, take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thank you for the compliment, dear Joelle!
      It’s good to see you here.
      Sorghum is definitely a grain, rather than a seed. We know it as millet, and my grandfather used to call it ‘chicken feed’ ad refused to even entertain the idea of eating it because during the war, when they ran out of wheat and rye, they baked bread of very course millet grain for military hospitals (that’s where he served).
      Regardless, I am willing to try, but will wit for your recipes.
      I hope Elsa doesn’t hit or doesn’t hit very hard. Stay safe and be well, dear Joelle!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joëlle says:

        Well, Dolly, I find that millet flour and sorghum flour taste very different — as a matter of fact I stopped buying the first altogether as I don’t like its extremely dry taste. Sorghum flour on the other hand lends itself to gluten-free pastry, even cake baking, provided it is ground into a powdery state.
        It has been raining very hard since this morning but no wind, so that’s easier to handle on the road.
        Have a good afternoon, take care 😊!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear Joelle, sorghum and millet are one and the same, but there are different kinds of it (https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-sorghum#1). Perhaps millet flour that you have used is simply a different kind of sorghum.
        My son also reports rain but no winds.
        Stay safe, dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. lghiggins says:

    I love chocolate and I love your story of 100 blessings. May you be blessed for sharing them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen. Thank you so much, dear Linda.

      Like

  22. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    WHAT GREAT DATES!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a play on words! Thank you for reblogging, dear Jonathan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WWE PLAY WITH WORDS. 😀 THANKS FOR RECOGNIZING…MY GREATNESS. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Always! You are great in my eyes, dear brother.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. NOW THAT—-IS A COMPLIMENT-!!!!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Totally sincere. 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      5. PURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. M.O.L. MEOW OUT LOUD 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Koolkitchens,

    Your husband is blessed in my opinion.
    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Rudy,
      Be well and stay safe,
      Dolly

      Like

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