While there are over 3,000 varieties of dates, US growers primarily produce two types of dates, both of which originate in the Middle East. An agricultural explorer tasked with finding exotic crops for the US Government, Walter Swingle, is responsible for bringing the Deglet Noor, a smallish, drier date often found in baked goods, and the Medjool, a fat, maple-hued fruit that boasts a succulent taste and texture. This date nut cookie recipe combines the flaky texture of butter cookies with the nutty flavor of walnuts and finishes with the gooey goodness of dates. It is the perfect marriage of sweet and melt-in-your-mouth creaminess. This date cookie recipe is perfect for the whole family. Try these date cookies, made with brown sugar, eggs, walnuts, dates, and other ingredients.
- 1/2 cup margarine or shortening, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped dates (6 to 8 ounces)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Cream shortening, butter, and sugar
- Beat in vanilla and egg, beating until light and fluffy.
- Sift flour and salt; add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
- Stir in dates and walnuts. Shape dough into two 2 inch rolls; wrap in waxed paper and chill overnight.
- Slice chilled cookie dough into 1/8 inch slices; bake on greased baking sheets at 375F for 8 to 10 minutes.
Makes about 6 dozen date nut cookies.
Cooking Tips and Ingredient Substitutions
As mentioned above, the Deglet Noor is primarily used for baking, whereas the Medjool is added to smoothies, energy bars and the like.
The reason for this is that the Deglet Noor is drier and keeps longer, allowing for better consistency for a warm or room temperature treat. The Medjool, on the other hand, is sticky and moist. It is hard to cut uniformly and is better with ingredients that need to be combined like shakes and truffles.
Dates and Ramadan
Dates originate from the Middle East and are key to Ramadan, an annual month-long period of spiritual reflection for Muslims. After fasting from sun-up to sun-down, dates are the first foods eaten before having an evening meal. At the end of Ramadan, ma’amoul, butter cookies stuffed with dates are served.
More Date Cookies
For those who forego chocolate or more decadent desserts, dates are a great alternative that maintains the sweetness you crave without overdoing it. Here are more date cookie recipes for your sweet tooth's pleasure.