Make these easy and delicious date cookies for the holidays, or any time you’re looking for a soft, not-too-sweet, cinnamon-spiced treat!
Soft cookies with dates and pecans are a delicious Mediterranean-inspired treat! Cookies with dates and nuts are common across the region, and they taste so good together.
And it makes sense that dates are included in traditional desserts from the Middle East since the date palm has been cultivated in this area for thousands of years.
Dates add a caramel-like sweetness that you can’t get from sugar alone, and the chopped pecans are rich and crunchy inside these soft, cinnamon and vanilla-flavored cookies.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Perfect for Holidays – While these aren’t quite the traditional date-filled cookies made for religious holidays in the Middle East (maamoul), they have all the same flavors, and are even easier to make for Eid! These are now my go-to Eid cookies, and I think they will be yours too.
- Not Overly Sweet– These date cookies have less than a cup of sugar in the whole recipe, with the rest of the sweetness coming from chopped dates. They have the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor, without being overpowering.
- An Easy Cookie Recipe – I love drop cookie recipes because they are so simple to make. You just make the dough, scoop it onto cookie sheets, and bake! This cookie dough doesn’t even need to be chilled, so there’s no extra waiting time either.
Ingredients In Date Cookies
Here’s what you need to make these cookies with dates:
- Dates: You can use any type of dates that you find, although Medjool dates tend to be bigger and softer than other varieties.
- Cinnamon: This spice gives the cookies a lightly spiced flavor. You can add more spices too, like ground cloves or nutmeg.
- Pecans: Chopped pecans add great texture to these cookies. Walnuts are a good substitution too.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
How to Pit and Chop Dates for Cookies
If you aren’t familiar with how to chop up dates, here’s a quick tutorial!
- Start by slicing each date in half lengthwise, then pulling it open to reveal the pit in the middle.
- Use the tip of your knife to gently pry out the pit, and discard it.
- With a sharp knife, slice the pitted dates into thin strips, then turn the board and slice the strips into squares.
- Dates are quite sticky! If your blade gets too gummed up as you’re chopping, rinse it off and start again where you left off. You can also coat the knife blade with flour to help.
How To Make Date Cookies
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl, and set aside.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again for 1 minute to combine.
- Combine: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix again on low speed until a dough forms.
- Add the Dates and Pecans: Fold in the chopped dates and pecans with a spatula.
- Use a Cookie Scoop to scoop out cookie balls that are about 1.5 tablespoons.
- Place them on cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone mat, at least an inch and a half apart.
- Bake: These cookies will take 10 minutes to bake in an oven that’s preheated to 350°F/180°C. You’ll know they’re done when the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned. Allow them to cool completely on the cookie sheets.
You can make this cookie recipe with an electric hand mixer, or a countertop stand mixer. It’s easy to mix up either way!
Date cookie Recipe Tips
- Make them more flavorful by adding additional spices such as nutmeg and ground cloves to your date cookies.
- This cookie dough does not have to be refrigerated, but if you’re baking on a hot day, you may want to pop it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes prior to baking.
- Leave room between the cookies. The dough will spread a bit, but not too much. I left 1.5 inches between each one.
- Measure Correctly. The key to baking will always be in the measurements! Visit my post on how to measure ingredients for all of my tips and tricks.
- Try not to overcook these. You want the cookies to be cooked, but not dried out. Start checking on them at about 9 minutes to be on the safe side.
Store these date cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. They’ll be best when enjoyed the same day that you bake them!
If your soft date cookies dry out, you can make them soft again by adding a piece of white bread to their container! The bread will dry out but the cookies will be almost as good as new.
Yes, date cookies will freeze well! Put them in an airtight container or zipper freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature when you’re ready to enjoy them.
You can make these cookies without a cookie scoop, however, I just love mine, and highly recommend it. Without a scoop, try to measure out 1.5 tablespoons of the cookie dough, and lightly form it into balls before adding it to the baking sheet.
Date Cookies are perfect for celebrating Eid al-Fitr or any other special occasion! Everyone will love these Middle-Eastern inspired cookies that are wonderfully soft and studded with chewy dates and crunchy nuts.
- 1 ½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) (113 grams) unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup (65 grams) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup pitted and chopped dates
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C (160°C Fan oven), and line two half size sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpat silicone mat.
- In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon), and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer), cream butter with sugars until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes).
- Add the egg, and vanilla extract and beat again for 1 minute.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix again on LOW speed until combined.
- Fold in the chopped dates and pecans with a spatula.
- Using a medium cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoon size), scoop out cookie balls onto the cookie sheet 1.5 inches apart.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes until the bottom of the cookie is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheets.
- Add more flavor by adding additional spices such as nutmeg and ground cloves to your date cookies.
- You shouldn’t need to chill this cookie dough, but if you’re baking on a hot day, you may want to pop it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes prior to baking.
- The dough will spread a bit, but not too much. Leave at least 1.5 inches between each cookie while baking.
- Avoid overcooking these. Start checking on them at about 9 minutes to be on the safe side.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen