A funny thing happened when I visited my local produce market a while back. I was finished shopping, had paid for my goods, and was heading to the car when the owner of the market told me to wait up. He had some dates for me. What a nice guy, he’s giving me a free carton of dates! I waited while he ran off to the storage area outside the market and in a little while he came back – with an 11 pound box of dates! As I lugged the box back to my car I was thinking…
Then I started thinking…
“What the heck am I going to do with 11 pounds of dates?”
I mean, that is a lot of dates people.
So I put the word out on Facebook and asked for suggestions. This recipe came to me from Karen Merzenich of Off The (Meat) Hook. She shared not just one, but four of her date recipes with me:
Then I saw the recipe for these cookies and stopped dead in my tracks. I knew from the list of ingredients that this recipe would be a winner and boy was I right! They are insanely good. The dates just melt into the cookie as they bake and give them a sweet, chewy goodness. The addition of chopped walnuts and coconut add flavor and additional texture and I was thrilled with how they kept their shape after baking. They stay incredibly moist and chewy for days if kept in an airtight container.
Luckily, my boys are on them like white on rice or I’d be in trouble. Thank you Karen. My cookie horizon has been widened and I will never again be afraid of having too many dates on hand.
Did you hear that Federico? Feel free to lay another giant box of dates on me anytime!
I’m still working my way through that box so stay tuned for more date recipes in the near future. In the meantime, try these. You will not be disappointed.
The grocery list - butter, brown sugar, white sugar, an egg, vanilla, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, oatmeal (I used quick cooking but old-fashioned will work as well), dates, walnuts, and sweetened, flaked coconut.
Start off by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Then cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer or with a handheld mixer.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix just until combined.
It’s very easy to remove the pits from the dates. Just slice into it and the pit will come right out. Then chop them into small pieces.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, dates, walnuts, and coconut. Add this mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until well incorporated.
Using your hands, form large heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet a couple of inches apart. If not using parchment, just place directly onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake them for 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from the oven when they are just beginning to get slightly golden brown and allow them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.
This recipe makes enough to share with friends, neighbors, co-workers, postal workers, your kids’ teachers, the gardener, random people passing by your house. You get the point.
Even if you decide to keep them all to yourself, I predict they won’t last long.
Oatmeal Coconut Date Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
- 1-1/4 cup (2-1/2 sticks) butter
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking or old fashioned)
- 1 cup of dates, chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars with a hand mixer or in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix just until combined.
In a separate large bowl, combine oatmeal, dates, walnuts, and coconut. Add to dough butter/sugar mixture. Mix until well combined.
Using your hands, roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and place it on a parchment paper lined or ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough to fill sheet, leaving a couple of inches between each ball of dough. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheets for a few minutes after removing from oven and then move to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
Store cookies in an airtight container.
Adapted from Off The (Meat) Hook