I’ve just opened a kilo of dates, only to find they have been grossly over-dried and are utterly inedible. There are two ways to go – send them back with a letter of complaint, or salvage them. It will cost more than they’re worth to return them (but the letter will be going – well, email, anyway), and the salvaging process has been under way for about 15 minutes.
The reason for the molasses sugar is that – to me, at least – date purée isn’t all that sweet, despite the fact that eating dates can be like munching on sugar. And, of course, it adds flavour. As will a hit of cinnamon (or whatever spice you prefer).
For the purée, roughly chop about 2 dozen pitted dates, put into a small pan with half a cup – about 150ml – of water, bring to the boil, put on a lid, remove from the heat and leave until soft.