Spiced Date Cookies
Cook’s note: To make date paste, soak 15 pitted California dates (about 300g/10.5oz) in 1/2 cup hot water for 10 minutes. Then whizz up in a food processor. It will initially form a chunky, dark brown paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then process for another 2 minutes or so, until you get a smooth, creamy light brown paste that resembles buttercream! Scrape into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a month. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Head over to datesaregreat.com for more date tips, tricks, and recipes!
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (rounded) kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
8 tablespoons/1 stick unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons date paste (see cook’s note above)
1/4 cup white granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling)
1/4 cup molasses
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Whisk flour, baking soda, spices and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, whisk butter, date paste, 1/4 cup white sugar, molasses, egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
3) Tip dry ingredients into the wet and stir together with a spatula until just combined. Don’t over-mix or you’ll end up with a tough, dry cookie! Pop the cookie dough into your fridge for 20 minutes, to firm up the dough and allow it to rest.
4) Meanwhile, pour extra white sugar into a little bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
5) Using a measuring spoon, scoop out 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough. Roll it between your palms to form a smooth ball. Gently press between your palms to form 2-inch disc, then place in the sugar. Flip, ensuring both sides are evenly coated. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving about 2 inches between cookie balls. You’ll need a couple of baking sheets!
6) Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Cookies are done with the outsides are firm, but the puffy centers are still quite tender.
7) Set baking sheet on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from the sheet to cool completely on the wire rack.