Soft and Chewy Date and Brown Butter Cookies
The journey to these date and brown butter cookies was a long one. Years ago, my mission in life was to find my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. After years of testing, I finally found what I consider the best recipe in the world for a cookie. I may share it here eventually. When the Black Lives Matter movement started gaining national attention after the murder of George Floyd, millions of people jumped in to help.
When I heard about a national bake sale being organized, I knew that was my moment to help in a way that I am able. A friend of mine and I baked treats to sell to raise money for the movement, and I created these soft and chewy walnut, date and brown butter cookies. These are based on my original chocolate chip cookie recipe but with nuts and chopped dates subbed in for the chocolate.
I had to tweak the recipe a bit to get to what we have here, because without the dark chocolate these can skew a bit sweet. The crunchy salt on top really makes them perfect.
Tips for making the Perfect Cookie
On of the best tips I can give for making perfect cookies is to not substitute any ingredients! Often the creator of the recipe has taken a lot of time to test every variation, and if there is a seemingly superfluous step, it is often quite necessary.
I get this question all the time: do I really need to soften butter? The answer is YES! The softened (but not too soft) butter when combined with sugar can actually have air whipped into it, a lot like whipped cream. This air stays in the cookie, as long as you don’t over mix it when adding the dry ingredient. This mechanical aeration contributes so much to the cookie’s end result.
Another tip I can give is to use high quality Medjool dates that are not too old or hard, and to absolutely make sure you toast your nuts. The difference between a nicely toasted almond or walnut and a raw one is huuuuugee.
Chewy Date, Walnut and Brown Butter Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1 cup toasted/chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup toasted/chopped almonds
- In a small saucepan, brown 2 Tbsp of the butter and let cool completely.
- Heat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt together.
- In another large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat together the butter, cooled brown butter and sugars until smooth and mixed together well.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until mixed in.
- Fold in the flour mixture and mix in until just incorporated.
- Add dates and nuts until just incorporated.
- Chill dough if dough is warm and bake!
- Small cookies bake 8-10 minutes
- Large cookies bake 10-13 minutes.