Moshe b’Tayva - Dates Stuffed with Homemade Marzipan

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Post Sun, Mar 07 2021, 10:54 am
This was a fun project with the kids a few years ago. I do love marzipan so it's nice to have a recipe. Marzipan dipped in chocolate is also delicious

Moshe b’Tayva (Moses in the Basket) - Dates Stuffed with Homemade Marzipan

Excerpt From: Phyllis Glazer. “The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking

Makes 14 to 16

Part of the Passover story begins with baby Moses bundled into a little date frond basket to float on the Nile under the watchful eye of his sister Miriyam until Pharaoh’s daughter found him. Making these adorable and delicious little sweets with friends and family could start a memorable, meaningful, and creative Passover tradition.

Medjool dates are very large, are usually found in Middle Eastern stores, and should be tender to the touch and slightly moist inside. Although they are the perfect size, do not buy them if they appear very dry. Substitute another type of date if necessary. Your Moshe will be smaller, but just as sweet.

Caution: Before you start, ask everyone to refrain from eating more than one Moshe until they are all made, so that you can compare styles and techniques. Otherwise, before you know it, they’ll just be a memory.

Note: This same delicious marzipan can be used to stuff apricots, or it can be placed between walnut or pecan halves.

14 to 16 large Medjool dates

3½ ounces (a slightly rounded cup) slivered or whole blanched almonds, ground
3½ ounces (⅔ cup) KLP confectioners’ sugar or you can make your own with a recipe
¼ teaspoon “kosher for Passover” vanilla extract
A few drops rose water or almond extract
1 to 2 teaspoons hot water

¼ cup crushed, toasted, unsalted pistachio nuts
Whole cloves as needed
Coriander seeds or mustard seeds (for the eyes)

1. Use a sharp, pointed knife to slit the dates lengthwise, and remove the pits. Set aside.

2. Grind the almonds in a food processor to a powder consistency. Add the sugar, and with the machine running, add the vanilla, rose water or lamond extract, and 1 teaspoon hot water. The mixture should come together like a ball. If not, add another 1 to 2 teaspoons water, but be careful not to add too much or the marzipan will be too soft.

3. For each little Moshe, make a small ball of marzipan for the head, and an elongated oval-shaped piece for the body. (The total length of both together should be slightly smaller than the length of a date.)

4. Roll the “body” in the crushed pistachio nuts (to add color and to represent the “bunting”). Attach the head to the body and stick the whole in one of the dates, gently pressing the sides of the date around him to make him snug. Round the top and the bottom with a gentle pinch, to make a little boat.

5. To make the eyes, use the tip of a whole clove to pierce 2 holes in the “head.” (We considered using cloves for the eyes themselves, but were afraid of a lawsuit from anyone not removing them before eating.) Stick a coriander seed in each hole (these are both edible and healthful), and Moshe is ready to float to his destiny
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