Essentially the same cookie as the oatmeal raisin cookie I made a couple of weeks ago — I just substituted dates for the raisins. I thought they would be amazing, as I LOVE dates, but they were just okay. The relatively pure sweetness of the dates just didn’t contribute anything special to the cookies. I also inadvertently overbaked them; I used my new cookie scoop instead of shaping them by hand, so these cookies were about half the size of the earlier cookies. The overbaking actually makes them quite crunchy and somewhat more interesting texture-wise, but I still prefer the raisins.
I am a big fan of dates. Apparently many people don’t care for them, but I find the inadulterated sugary sweetness of dates irresistable. And I find date nut bread to be pretty foolproof. I got my recipe from P.’s Auntie Norma many years ago — I’d had tasted some she had made and I was hooked. I never really questioned why the dates are soaked in boiling water before they go into the batter, but was told recently that it was because the recipe dates back to the Depression and soaking the dates and then adding them to the batter, water and all, was a way to make the bread moist without the need for a lot of butter. Whatever the reason, I love date nut bread, particularly toasted and with a little schmear of cream cheese!