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baking prep

date and walnut cookies

I've saved the best holiday cookies for last, guys.

My childhood self would shriek "heresy!" if she heard me say that, but I tell you what... I can (and just did) binge on these cookies like no other. They are crisp, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth, nutty, and just a smidge chewy from the dates.

Also they're incredibly easy. Pretty much the ideal scenario for a holiday cookie, right? The easier the better with all the chaos of December looming around.

As a child, I remember thinking these were only made as a concession to dad (pretty much what I thought about anything that contained dates - one of his favorites). But that was more my predilection to fill my sticky paws with glazed sugar cookies than it was a reflection of a general family agreement. The older I got, the more I realized almost everyone adored these things. And now I've seen the light.

They really are the easiest of our holiday cookie parade. Well, at least now that we no longer chop the dates by hand. That made it far more complicated. Thank god for food processors. But excepting the dates, you toss everything in a bowl, knock it all together, and roll it up into parchment. Chill that and slice away at will whenever you have a craving.

Be forewarned, though, that will be quite a frequent occurrence.


date & walnut cookies


¼ lb butter 1¼ cups sugar 1 egg ½ tsp corn syrup ½ tsp soda ½ cup dates (or more) ½ cup walnuts ½ tsp vanilla 1½ cups flour


  1. In a food processor, combine ½ cup flour and the dates. Whirl these together until the dates have been chopped to approximately the size of peas.

  2. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients except for the dates and mix well until thoroughly combined.

  3. Add the dates a bit at a time and mix until evenly distributed through the dough.

  4. Divide the dough into three equal sections and form each into a 1½” wide roll, wrapped in parchment or waxed paper.

  5. Wrap each roll (including parchment paper) in cling wrap, then chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

  6. When ready, slice the rolls into cookies and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 350º for 10 minutes or until done. Be sure to leave about 2" between each cookie as they will spread.

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Pick varieties and flavors that bring you joy. Not everyone is a baker and not everyone likes to cook. 


Enjoy the process. One of my favorite things while baking is to knead the dough and feel how it changes in my hands. I love chopping vegetables that came fresh from the farmer's market, brushing the dirt off the leaves, and creating with something that came from the earth.


Listen to jazz. I know this is a personal preference, but there are few things that give me quite the feeling of contentment as cooking a good meal with a glass of wine and a Thelonius record on in the background.

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