I haven't made this yet, but I ate them last weekend in Charleston. My friend, Kathleen Erickson, made these, and they are fantastic. They are unusual and delicious--salty,sweet,spicy, and addictive. I think that it would be nice to cut the dates in half in order to make these bite-sized.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups all-purpose flour
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (I used 2 t.)
1 lb. pitted dates, halved lengthwise (I used large Medjool dates from Fresh Market)
Sugar (I use a shaker)
Blend butter and cheese together in food processor. Mix with flour, salt and cayenne pepper to form dough. Chill. Roll out thinly and cut into small rounds with a biscuit cutter (I used a shot glass!). Place date half on one side of dough round; fold remaining dough over. Pinch edges together like a turnover. Bake on non-stick cookie sheet at 250-300 degrees for 30 minutes. Roll in sugar while hot (I just sprinkled on top.). Serve warm or room temperature. I had refrigerated some of the batch and warmed them tonight in the microwave for 20 seconds on a paper plate and they were perfect.