For the dough:
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup original farina (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for topping
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp rose water or orange water (available at Middle Eastern or specialty stores)
3 tbsp cold water
¼ tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)
For the filling:
16 oz. date spread (available at Israeli or specialty stores)*
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup ground walnuts
* If you cannot find date spread, soak 12 oz. large pitted Medjool dates in ½ to ⅔ cup boiling water, then put in a food processor until they become a smooth paste. Make sure there are no pit fragments before you soak them. It should make 2 cups.
Set up your mixer with the dough hook or a food processor with a dough blade.
Add in the dry ingredients (flour, farina, powdered sugar, baking soda and kosher salt and blend together for about a minute. Add butter cubes and mix until consistency is small crumbs. to get small crumbs. While mixer is running, add rosewater, cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is formed. Note: if you can’t find rosewater, replace with 1 tbsp regular water.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a flour-dusted rolling pin, take half the dough and gently roll it out to a rectangle that is about ⅛ inch thick. The dough might be sticky, so just keep dusting the dough and rolling pin as you work.
With a pastry spatula, spread half the date spread all over the dough, making sure all the edges are covered. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ cup ground walnuts. Gently roll the dough to create a roulade. If it sticks to the surface, use a metal pastry scarper or spatula to release the dough from the surface as you roll it. Place the roll on the lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
Using a sharpened knife, make a slit in the cookies on the top of each roulade at your desired width. Don’t cut in too much, since you cut them after they are baked. In general, you should divide into 15 equal parts.
Place in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. They will seem soft at first, but firm up about 10 minutes after you remove them from the oven, which is when you cut them on the slit marks. They will still be hot. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve. They will keep for a week in a sealed container. Do not refrigerate.
Want a tasty option? Try replacing the date spread with 16 oz. of Israeli chocolate spread.