These super sweet candied dates are a perfect to end a Moroccan or Middle Eastern party.
- ½ pound unsalted shelled pistachios
- 3.75 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon rose water
- 1 pound (aprox 48) pitted dates
- 2 cup water
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 1 cup decorators sanding sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Drop the pistachios into enough boiling water to cover them by 1 inch and boil for 2 minutes. Drain the nuts at once and slip of their skins while they are still hot. Spread the pistachios in a shallow baking pan and, turning occasionally, toast them in the middle rack of the oven for 8–10 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.
Combine the pistachios and 3/4 cups of the sugar in an electric blender and blend at high speed for 30 seconds. Turn the machine off, scrape the sides of the blender jar with a rubber spatula and blend again, until the nuts are pulverized. With the back of a spoon, rub the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add the rose water and beat vigorously until a paste is formed.
With a small, sharp knife, cut a slit about 1 inch long and ½ inch deep into each date. Stuff a rounded ½ teaspoon of the pistachio paste into each date. Pinch the edges closed as you work to enclose the filling.
Combine the water, the remaining 3 cups of sugar and the cream of tartar in a small saucepan and stirring constantly, bring it to a boil over medium heat. Raise the temperature to high and cook briskly, uncovered and undisturbed, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 230 degrees F. on a candy thermometer, or until a few drops of the syrup spooned into ice water immediately forms coarse threads. Remove the pan from the heat.
Place the decorating sugar in a small bowl and lay several strips of parchment paper next to the bowl. Impale a date onto a skewer and immerse it in the syrup. Let the excess drip off and back into the sauce pan, then working quickly dip the very hot date into the sugar to form a candy shell. Move the date to the parchment to cool, and continue with more dates.
If the syrup begins to get too sticky to work with return it to the stove and bring it back to 230 degrees F. Keep working until all the dates are candied.
Once they have cooled let them sit, lightly covered for 24 hours before serving.