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2 Smart Ways to Put Dates to Great Use (Cookies! Salad!)

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We partnered with our friends at Natural Delights, purveyors of Medjool dates, for our latest contest—Your Best Recipe with Dates.

Our latest contest, Your Best Recipe with Dates, was the first one in quite some time, and you all came out of the gate swinging.

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You took dates, delicious on their own, and put on your thinking caps: You roasted them, blended them, and fried them. You churned them into ice cream, folded them into quick breads and muffins, and whirred them into sticky-sweet marinades. You made everything from chicken salad to gougères to focaccia.

Which is all to say that plucking two finalists from the mix was hard—but with the help of our community reviewers, we've narrowed down the contenders. (Now it's your turn to choose the winner by heading to the contest page and casting your vote.)

Date, halvah, and chocolate chunk cookies. Photos by James Ransom
Roasted cauliflower with prosciutto and dates. Photos by James Ransom

First up is recordintheden's Date, Halvah, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Folding date pieces into cookie dough is a smart move for adding pockets of caramelly squishiness to thin cookies. But this recipe goes beyond that: By mixing plumped-up dates into the dough itself (they practically melt!), every inch of cookie is imbued with an almost butterscotchy sweetness that’s balanced by the slightly savory halvah.

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Date, Halvah, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

B6c88cb3 6a16 46b2 bec4 0563d386c73a  img 2575 recordsintheden
38 Save Go To Recipe
Makes about 30 cookies
  • 9 Medjool dates, pitted, divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 bar (80 grams) bittersweet or milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 120 grams halvah, roughly chopped
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping
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And then, on Team Savory, we have Roasted Cauliflower with Prosciutto and Dates from Jessica. By taking advantage of naturally contrasting flavors and textures, this recipe achieves a streamlined ingredient list and method, without any unnecessary spices (or steps). It's a hands-off, crowd-pleasing dinner party side—but you can also mix it into a cooked grains for a take-to-work lunch.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Prosciutto and Dates

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar Jessica
79 Save Go To Recipe
Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 head (1 to 1 1/4 pounds) cauliflower (if you have a smaller head, scale down the other ingredients)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 6 slices prosciutto
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So which will it be? Head to the contest page to cast your vote!

We partnered with our friends at Natural Delights, purveyors of Medjool dates, for our latest contest—Your Best Recipe with Dates.