Sticky toffee pudding is essentially a rich, moist cake permeated with a thick caramel-like sauce (with extra for serving). Most recipes say to soak the dates in hot water, but here we use coffee. It gives the pudding a surprising depth of flavor.
This date-studded dessert derives its intoxicating flavor from chunks of dark chocolate and a jigger of brandy. A chocolate-enhanced sticky toffee glaze may also have something to do with the cake's appeal.
Pastry-like in texture and appearance, these cookies pair the intense sweetness of dates with the delicate flavor of almonds. The filling is enhanced by fresh orange zest and juice, as well as orange-flower water; look for the latter in specialty foods shops and Middle Eastern markets.
Add chopped nuts to make these cookies even crunchier. After beating in the dry ingredients, stir up to one cup of pecans, walnuts, or almonds into the dough. To make the cookies all the same size, use a measuring tablespoon to scoop the dough, then level off.