Chami

  Ramadan Kareem! Ramadan is going on in the UAE, during this month Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and when the sun sets they break the fast. It is also time to be more grateful and patience, time for charity. Many families and friends get together to break their daytime fast, that evening meal is called iftar. The meal most often starts with a date and a glass of water; then usually soup or salad is served, numerous appetizers (mezze), which includes olives, hummus, and of course cheeses.Chami
 In my opinion, cheeses are loved by many people and every country has their own varieties and names, and Arab region is not the exception. One of the traditional Emirati cheeses is called Chami, which is similar to cottage cheese. I can even say more, it is a cottage cheese. The legend says that an Arabian bedouin traveled somewhere across the desert, and took some milk with him in a goat’s stomach, and while he was traveling, extremely hot sun and his movements (or his horse) caused the milk to separate into curd and whey; thus the first simple cheese was discovered. 
 Most probably that time it was goat’s or sheep’s milk and thus the cheese, but nowadays it is usually prepared by simmering cow’s laban (local dairy drink,  similar to Russian kefir or buttermilk). Chami is usually drizzled with ghee (clarified butter) and eaten with dates. In my home country, homemade cottage cheese is often made the same way: by simmering the soured cow’s milk that caused the milk to separate. I love cottage cheese, not only to eat it as is, I add it into cakes or sweet one-dish bakes (you can find numerous recipes if you write “cottage cheese” in the search line on the right). So I make it quite often at home, but I prefer to simmer local yogurt, which is sold in large one, two and larger liters buckets. thus I have the bigger quantity of the cheese.

Oatmeal Cookies with dates

 There are thousands recipes of oatmeal cookies, I guess. Needless to say, I prefer homemade cookies to store-bought. Homemade is homemade, right? Plus I can vary the amount of sugar, thus you can feel that you’re eating oat cookies, not sugary cookies with oats! And of course, you can add your fav nuts or chocolate chips as much as you like. 😀 Personally, I don’t like chocolate chips in cookies. I add it sometimes too, but almost never do it; choco chips contain more sugar than pure chocolate; so if I deliberately reduce the sugar in a recipe why should I add more sugar but in another form.. I prefer roughly chopped dark chocolate, it’s healthier and adds much more flavour and taste! Add a small handful of dried berries or fruits for extra deliciousness! 🙂Oatmeal cookies with dates-1

 So, it’s my fav oatmeal cookies recipe. What’s yours? 🙂

Oatmeal Cookies with dates

  • Servings: 20-22 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Instead of dates you can add some black raisins or dried cherries.
Addition of chopped dark chocolate make cookies only better. 
IngredientsOatmeal cookies
170g butter, soft at room temperature
35g brown sugar
35g golden caster sugar (or more brown sugar)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
50g fine oats
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2-1  tsp cinnamon
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
200-220g oats
80-100g roasted walnuts, roughly chopped
6-8 large dates, stoned and chopped
Method
  1. In a bowl, whisk flour with fine oats, salt, baking powder and spices.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugars until creamy about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. Add flour mixture into cookie batter and whisk/beat until combined.
  4. Stir in oats, walnuts and dates.
  5. Line 2 baking trays with parchment. Scoop in cookies, leaving the space between cookies about 4-5cm. With wet hand flatten the cookies slightly.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes or until light golden.
Enjoy with a glass of cold milk!
Oatmeal cookies with dates and walnuts