DENSE AND CHEWY AND BORDERLINE STICKY
Sometimes, I feel, if a recipe could talk… it wouldn’t be thanking me for lovingly bringing it into this world, nor telling me how it did at school today over a cup of hot cocoa, nor about its hopes and dreams as we laugh and cry together in the kitchen at the end of a sun-drenched afternoon… Sometimes, I feel, if a recipe could talk, first and foremost, it would probably just gently lean into my ears, and the three little words it whispers with steady breath would sound something like… Just. Shut up.
See, it’s not that my recipes are mean, because I assure you that I raised them all with decent manners. But sometimes I have to admit that they’ve got a point. Let’s take this instance as an example, shall we? Cookies. Very fast, very easy, zero electronic machinery needed. Tinted with ground allspice and cardamon, and filled with minced rum-soaked dates. If you like crispy-on-the-bottom-and-edges, but dense-and-chewy-and-borderline-sticky kind of cookies, I don’t know what else the recipe would want me to say except… make it now.
So. Make it now.
- 15 oz (425 grams) pitted dates
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (190 grams) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Flakey sea salt to sprinkle
- Preheat the oven on 340F/170C.
- Finely mince the pitted dates, then mix them evenly with dark rum (the minced dates are really sticky so you may need to use your hands to work this). Let soak for 10 min. Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk melted unsalted butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Then whisk in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract until smooth again. Sift the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ground allspice, ground cardamon and freshly grated nutmeg directly into the bowl, then mix all the ingredients into a dough with a spatula. Add the run-soaked dates, then fold again until evenly incorporated (again, the dates are sticky so break them up with the spatula).
- Line the baking-sheet with parchment, then scoop about a heaping tbsp of dough on top with 3" (8 cm) of space in between each. Use your fingers to press each cookie-dough flat to about 1/4" (0.5 cm) thick (you can dab your fingers with a bit of vegetable oil to prevent sticking). Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt on each, then bake in the oven for 10~11 min (the cookies should feel quite soft when they're warm).
- Let cool on the baking-sheet for 5 min, then transfer to a cooling-rack.
The weight of the dates is measured without pits.