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Orange Date Cookies

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

As mentioned in Day 65 of The Challenge

This is my first original cookie recipe, all my own rather than just tweaking of an original. It started because we made tollhouse cookies with butterscotch. I find those too sweet, with too high a flavour note. I, therefore, decided to make my own cookies, changing the sugar types - reducing the granulated sugar, both white and brown, and using pomegranate molasses instead. Regular molasses would also have the effect of deepening the note, but pomegranate molasses has an added acidity to it. I then added dried orange peel, dates and ground almonds. These came out quite moist and light. If you want them a bit more substantial, and closer to the texture of tollhouse cookies, add an extra 1/4 c of flour.



Cook time: 30 minutes -- Difficulty: Easy


1 c butter, softened

1/2 c white sugar

1/2 c dark brown sugar

1/2 c ground almonds

1/4 c dried orange peel

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cloves

2 c flour

3/4 c dates, chopped

1) Cream butter and sugar in a bowl. add almonds and pomegranate molasses and mix well. Soak orange peel in a cup of hot water.

2) Stir in wet ingredients, then gradually add dry ingredients.

3) Drain orange peel. Add date and orange peel. Drop onto greased cookie sheet by teaspoonfuls.

4) Bake at 180°C for 8-10 minutes until golden on top. Cool for a few minutes then enjoy warm!


I love these and am so happy with them! I will continue to tweak and play with these a little, but these are a keeper. They are fragrant with a beautifully balanced, complex and yet delicate taste. They are moist and soft, and though sweet and overall very satisfying. The dough is less tasty to eat raw though. When baked in a slightly under-preheated oven, the bottoms caramelised a little, which quashed the orange flavour and brought out the dates. They were also tasty, but with a much less delicate and complex flavour.

Swaps and substitutions:

  • You could use fresh orange zest instead of the dried orange peel. I personally liked the chewy pieces of peel, but if you don't have any to hand, the zest will do.

  • You could replace the pomegranate molasses with regular molasses. It will not have the same zing to it, but it would still be a balanced cookie.

  • Try replacing the ground almond with other ground nuts to see the difference.

  • Replace the dates with dried apricots or prunes. If you want to use prunes, alternatively, you could check out the Grapefruit and Prune Cookie recipe.

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