Lebanese Date Cookies

My wonderful, beautiful sister is getting married this month. I’m so elated to be in Pennsylvania for her special day and of course to help in the baking frenzy of 2017! My mom is the baking queen, well, only when it comes to Lebanese desserts! She has pages of recipes written in Arabic that have been tried, tested and changed over the years. There is also this amazing Lebanese cook book that is literally like a bible! Any Lebanese dessert I want to make, I check in with her first then the “bible”. Whatever it is, it always comes out amazing. 

Dates are widely used in Lebanese desserts, especially in mammoul. Mammoul are a flaky cookie filled with either dates, walnuts or pistachio fillings. These cookies are a play on mammoul but a bit simpler and don’t require the molds to shape. We make them super bite size because they are totally cute that way and give us an abundance of cookies. You can find baking dates at most Middle Eastern stores or online. 

The recipe for these cookies is in the above-mentioned “bible”, after my mom translated the text for me, we got to work! The dough is so easy to work with and requires just minutes to put together. These 40+ dozen we made today (not lying about that) will make their debut at the wedding along with the other hundreds of desserts there! I hope you enjoy the recipe! I would love to see your creations! Tag me on Instagram @CosettesKitchen or post on my Facebook Page.

xoxo,
Cosette


A shot of the rolled date balls before stuffing them into the dough:

 

Before the cookies go into the oven, we used whatever tools we had in the kitchen to make the designs: spoon, knife, cake piping tip, dough wheel…whatever will make a good impression. 

 

Just a few of the many, many dozen that we made today! 

As featured on KATU Afternoon Live:

https://katu.com/afternoon-live/cooking-recipes/christmas-cookies-12-13-2018

Print Recipe
Lebanese Date Cookies
This recipe will make A LOT of cookies, especially if you make the very small sized as pictured. You can surely increase the size of the cookies to yield fewer.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Lebanese
Prep Time 1 hr 30
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
+people
Ingredients
Date Mixture
Course Dessert
Cuisine Lebanese
Prep Time 1 hr 30
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
+people
Ingredients
Date Mixture
Instructions
Date Mixture
  1. Combine date paste and butter and work until smooth.
  2. Form into small balls, the size depends on how large of a cookie you'd like. Can be anywhere from 1/2-1 tsp in size.
Form Cookies
  1. Take a small scoop of your dough and flatten in your hand, place a date ball inside. Fold dough around the date and form into whatever shape you'd like. Round and long shapes are most common.
  2. Place on prepared cookie sheet and create an impression using a fork, knife, dough wheel, cake tip or anything you find that will work.
  3. Bake for 15-17 minutes on the middle rack. Bottoms should be slightly red and tops just beginning to brown.The cookies should not be too dark in color, they will remain fairly pale.
  4. Remove from tray and let cool on cooling rack. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

These cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Pull out baked cookies as you need them. 

Baking dates can be found online

Recipe adapted from Anahid's Gourmet Cookbook

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6 thoughts on “Lebanese Date Cookies”

  • Delicious. After trying these, my 3-year-old kept asking for the “cookies with the chocolate inside.” I did not correct her misconception. They were fun and easy to make and the result was impressive. As a first-timer, it took a while to craft all the individual cookies, but it was a relaxing and satisfying process. I would definitely make them again.

    • I am so glad your little one loved them and even better that she thought they were chocolate!!! Hope you try them again, they do freeze really well too, in case you make a big batch. 💖
      Cosette

  • I know you wrote this post a while back, I came upon it as I have a Lebanese friend who is having a family gathering celebrating the birth of her first grandchild and to remember her mother who passed away 30 years ago. I wanted to make something for her for this celebration and came upon lots of articles about these cookies. Your recipe seems to be the most well written and approachable for me, a seasoned baker but who has never heard of or ate these cookies. So I have two questions, can this recipe be halved or if not, can I freeze half the dough before filling and rolling ? Also,I have a large pkg of Medjool dates how do I turn them into the date paste used in this recipe? Thank you so much! CC

    • Hi Charmaine,

      So happy you stumbled upon this recipe. I think your friend will love these. They are similar to traditional ma’amoul but a little easier to make (I just posted ma’amoul if you want to try those). You can absolutely halve the recipe, I actually did just that today when I did a segment on our local new station. Personally, I would make the cookies and freeze them, wrapping well. They defrost beautifully! But you can surely freeze the dough as well. As far as the dates, I would soak them in warm water, remove the pits then process in a food processor or high powered blender. I hope this helps, feel free to message me with any questions when you get ready to make them.

      xoxo,
      Cosette

      • Coserte! Wow came here this morning to print your recipe and see you’ve quickly and thoroughly answered my questions. Thank you so much! I will let you know when I make them. Have a wonderful day! xo C

  • So lucky I found this. I’m going to attempt to make cookies for dads 90 th. I found another recipe that uses yeast. Your recipe looks easier so I will try it out. I’m a bit nervous because I don’t bake that much.

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