Date, Halvah, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

By • February 19, 2017 11 Comments

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Author Notes: A twist on the basic chocolate chip cookie, these have dates two ways (both in the batter and chunks in the cookies), complemented by halvah and chocolate. recordsintheden

Food52 Review: WHO: recordsintheden’s Butternut Squash Brown Porridge was a contest finalist earlier this year—and now she’s back!
WHAT: Chewy chocolate chip cookies, with a little somethin’-somethin’.
HOW: Sweeten up cookie dough by incorporating softened dates, then mix in chocolate chunks, halvah crumbles, and more dates (this time, chopped).
WHY WE LOVE IT: Folding date pieces into cookie dough is a smart move for adding pockets of caramelly squishiness to thin cookies. But mixing plumped-up dates into the dough itself—they practically melt!—imbues every inch of the cookies with an almost butterscotchy sweetness that’s balanced by the slightly savory halvah.
The Editors

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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
  1. In a small bowl, add 4 of the Medjool dates and cover them in hot water. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Drain.
  2. In large bowl or stand mixer, mix the sugar, butter, and softened dates. Once the butter and sugar are combined (but not yet light and fluffy), add the egg and vanilla, and mix to combine. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can combine with a fork in a bowl or gently cream in a blender. It won’t mix like in a stand mixer, but it’ll get the job done. (NOTE: If using the blender, I recommend only mixing about half of the sugar with the butter at first—all the white sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown. Then add the vanilla to continue roughly blending, and then transfer to a large bowl and mix with the rest of the sugar and the egg with a fork or whisk.)
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and a tiny dash of salt. Add these dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and pulse the mixer until just combined. I recommend adding 3/4 of the flour first and then gradually adding the rest.
  4. Once you have the batter, add the chocolate, halvah, and chopped remaining dates. Again, I recommend adding 3/4 of the goodies and then gradually adding the rest. You don’t want the halvah to get too smashed up. [Editors' note: We suggest adding the halvah last if you'd really like to preserve its texture.]
  5. Line a plate or baking sheet that you can fit in your refrigerator with parchment paper. Use a spoon to scoop up medium-sized cookies. I rolled them in my hand to form a ball just a bit larger than a golf ball. Once all the cookies are formed, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).
  6. If you haven’t already done so, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the chilled cookies about 2 inches apart. [Editors' note: Our cookies spread quite a bit! We'd recommend spacing them 3 1/2 or 4 inches apart if you don't want this result.] Be sure your baking rack is on the lower rack. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown (you can smell fresh cookies awaiting). You can always toothpick test the center, but these are chewy not cakey cookies, so it’s okay if the center is a tiny bit underdone.

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Topics: Cookies!, Baking, Dessert