Joey Cakes

Let’s take a break from knitting and make some cookies.

My grandma used to make these cookies for St Joseph’s Day.  They were always my favorite, though I never really knew what they were.  I just remember them as those tasty ravioli cookies with the chocolate filling.

A few years ago, I went on a massive Google search to find a recipe for the cookies.  And, lo and behold, I found one – and you know what that tasty chocolate filling is?  Well, chocolate, of course, sugar, garbanzo beans, dates, and walnuts.

Sounds weird right?  I followed the recipe, and was amazed at how close to my grandma’s cookies these were!

I haven’t made these in a few years, and I’m not a great baker, so I made a substitution in these that I wasn’t crazy about – I used whole wheat flour instead of white.  If you make them, I’d recommend going with white, and making sure you roll your dough nice and thin – this’ll give you the best cookie.


All of the ingredients: salt, eggs, shortening, chickpeas, semi-sweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, dates, walnuts, flour, sugar.

Chocolate, ready to be melted.

The chocolate, pre-melting.

Mmm.. pureed chickpeas.

I didn’t take pictures of the pureeing, because my food processor is very small and kind of scary.  This is a cup of pureed drained canned chickpeas.

Sugar meets the chickpeas.

They were joined with a cup of white sugar.

Next comes the ground walnuts...

And 3/4 cup of very finely chopped walnuts.

And finely choppe dates.

And 1/4 cup of pureed dates (I usually buy whole dried dates – these were chopped, and I got more of a finely chopped texture than a puree texture, but it still worked well).

Melted chocolate! Semi-sweet and unsweetened.

Hey, chocolate.  You look good and melty.

Mixing everything well...

Mix the chickpea/sugar/date/walnut mixture well – I mashed it a little with the back of the spoon, to make sure everything was really well incorporated.  It calls for cinnamon, too, but I couldn’t find mine.. so my cookies are cinnamon-less.

And pouring in the chocolate!

Pour in the chocolate, once it has cooled a bit.

Mixing the filling..

And mix very well.

Licking the back of the spoon when you're done mixing? Required.

Mmm.. so good.  You have to lick the spoon.

Cover and chill (yes, I washed the spoon before I stuck it back in)

And then wash it, stick it back in, and cover and chill the filling while you make the sough.

Three eggs in a new bowl..

Three eggs in a bowl.

Beat until frothy!

Beat till frothy.

Shortening kind of creeps me out.

Melt 1/4 cup of shortening.

Time to abbandon the whisk (after adding the melted shortening, flour, sugar, and salt)

Then add to the eggs, and sift in about 2 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, a teaspoon of salt.  Then get rid of the whisk, because a whisk is just pointless at this point.

Take the rings off!  Get your hands in that dough!

Take the rings off.  You’re getting into the dough.

Dough is quite crumbly.

It’s a little crumbly at first, but just work it together.

Ready to be rolled out!

Soon you’ll have a nice little ball.  Feel free to add more flour if it’s too wet.  Put it on your very clean counter to roll out.

Rice Wine Vinegar.. or rolling pin?

I don’t own a rolling pin.

Impromptu rolling pin.

My rice wine vinegar feels so useful!  I never roll these quite thin.

Ikea wine glasses are the perfect diameter.

Ikea wine glass, you’re the perfect size to cut into little rounds!

I rolled out the extra dough and cut more.

I’m not too good at this part.. I rolled out the dough again and cut some more rounds.

I always cut these too thick.

mmm scraps.

Mmm, scrap dough.

First round, prepped to be filled.

Ready to be filled!  Let’s get the filling from the fridge!

A little too much filling!

And add about a teaspoon to the center.  Fold over, and pinch well to close, like a little wonton!

More have joined the first...

Repeat a few dozen times.

All cookies have been filled.

Ready to be fried!

Shortening melts..

Melt your shortening in a large pan.. (Crisco is so creepy!)

The scraps make tasty snacks, with a little bit of extra filling on top...

Extra dough and extra filling mixed together and eaten raw? A tasty, tasty snack.

But don't eat them all!  I use a small scrap to make sure the fat is hot enough.

But don’t eat it all.. I save some scraps to test the oil for frying.

See?  Little scrap bubbling and browning in the fat.

When you drop a teeny scrap in, and it immediately sizzles, like this – it’s ready for some cookies!


Don’t crowd your pan – I put six to eight in each time.  Let them cook for about a minute or two per side, until golden brown.

Frying up!

Like this.

All done!

Drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with sugar.

In a nicely lined box.. on their way to a friend in Boston.

Then pack them in a shoebox and send them to your best friend two states away.

Joey Cakes

  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups shortening for frying
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans, drained and pureed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pureed dates
  • 3/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted shortening
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Melt semisweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool. Heat the 2 cups shortening in a large, heavy skillet or deep fryer.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the pureed garbanzo beans, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in the dates and nuts. Blend with the cooled chocolate. Chill while you make the dough.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy. Stir in the 1/4 cup melted shortening. Sift together the flour, sugar, and salt, and fold into the egg mixture. Add extra flour if necessary to make the dough easy to handle.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch circles using a cookie cutter or a large drinking glass. Place 1 teaspoon of the chocolate filling mixture onto the center of each cookie, fold over into a half circle, and pinch to seal.
  5. Fry cookies in 1 1/2 inches of hot oil, turning once. Cookies should be light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Refrigerate when cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Recipe from


Finally, finally..

Shetland Triangle, from Wrap Style.

Shetland Triangle
So large I can hide behind it.

4 skeins of Manos Silk Blend in “Stellar.”

Finally, finally, FINALLY.
I love the nice, crisp edge I got from blocking and the stacking increases

US9 needles.

Shetland Triangle and an itchy nose.
Apparently, posing for finished object photos makes me sneeze.

I knit the main motif until I finished the third skein of yarn.  I started with the final ball, and finished the repeat, and then did the border.

Shetland Triangle.
Dan’s favorite shawl pose – “BATMAN”

Started April.  Knitting finished in June.  Finally blocked in August.

Shetland Triangle.
While this photo was being taken, I got two mosquito bites

Lovely. So lovely. The silk blend is soft and light. The print is a little busy with the lace, but it’s such a simple lace pattern that it works well. I love lace. I love how magical the blocking is – it goes from this squished knit pile of yarn to this beautiful delicate shawl.

This will be set aside and probably given to someone for the Holidays.

And now.. what shawl should I knit next?

I may be behind on my crafting…

but Lindsey sure isn’t!  Go visit her blog, and enter her Blog-iversary contest for a beautiful hand-made felt pin!

Isn’t it beautiful?

I’m such a slacker, stealing other people’s art for blog fodder.

(And also look how far Lindsey is on her February Lady Sweater! She’s totally beating me! I’ve got to pick up some slack here and get knitting!)