PISTACHIO-FILLED CANDIED DATES
1/2 pound raw, shelled pistachios
3 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons rose water
1 pound large pitted dates
2 cups water
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup coarse white decorating sugar
Pistachios: Toast the pistashios in a 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes, until lightly browned. When cooled, pulverize them in the workbowl of a food processor with 3/4 cup sugar. Press this puree though a sieve and add the rose water to make a smooth paste.
Stuffing dates: Stuff 1/2 teaspoon of paste into each date, enlarging the opening left in the process of removing the pit, as needed. Press the opening closed.
Candymaking: Bring the water and remaining 3 cups of sugar to a simmer. Add the cream of tartar and cook the syrup to the soft-ball stage, 230 degrees measured on a candy thermometer. Take the pan off the heat.
Impale a stuffed date on a wooden skewer and submerge it briefly in the hot syrup. Allow excess liquid to drain off before rolling it in the decorator sugar. Slide the candied date off the skewer onto a sheet of waxed paper and continue with remaining dates. Cover the dates and set aside for 24 hours before serving.