I do admit to initially having some reservations about these cookies. For one thing, they are so lumpy I thought of calling them “warthogs,” but was pretty sure it wouldn’t fly. There might not be many takers for warthog cookies, even if I included this disclaimer: no warthogs were harmed in the making of these cookies.
And as they cooled, the cookies reminded me of an archipelago of volcanic islands off in the Pacific somewhere. Again, calling them “steaming volcanic island cookies,” seemed questionable.
So I will call them what they are called: Brownie Date Drops. I found the recipe in an old Sunset Cookie book, circa 1985. I got this book, along with a ridiculously tall tower of other books that nearly broke my arms, at the Geneva Library used book sale, last Friday. Used book sales = heaven!
As it turns out, these cookies are so good–soft and fudgy, with chewy bits of dates, melting chocolate chips, and the occasional crunch of walnut. It all comes together in a chewy, chocolatey, date-filled delight. Hope you enjoy,
(The fan in the picture above is my souvenir from the Paul Gaugin exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. The show runs from June 25 through Sept. 10, and it’s worth climbing mountains to see. He was an amazing artist.)
Brownie Date Drops
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup each chopped pitted dates and walnuts
big handful of chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until creamy. (A big sturdy spoon can be used for this.) Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth and light, then add melted chocolate. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, blending well. Stir in chopped dates, walnuts and chocolate chips.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls–I used a small ice-cream scoop–onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until just set and tops are no longer shiny. Do not overbake.) Makes about three dozen.
Baking notes: I had some medjool dates, and used them. They are larger and more luscious than regular dates–I used about 10, chopping them coarsely. Whatever you use, check for pits, and remove.
To melt the chocolate, chop roughly and then heat on high in a Pyrex bowl for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir, and then another 30 seconds. Stir, then 10 seconds more. Then, you may need one more 10 seconds. Walnuts are expensive, so I purchased one ounce for 99 cents. However, if you have more, use them–the cookies might look less volcanic that way.
Lastly, chocolate cookies burn easily, and I don’t advise baking them longer than the 12 to 13 minutes. They will firm up as they cool.
Photos below show the medjool dates, the melted chocolate, and the batter prior to mixing in the dates, nuts and chocolate chips.
Our bird bath continues to host a select clientele of robins, mourning doves and grackles. Here is a robin, enjoying himself. (Looks like he needs a tiny robin toupee.) Peace to you. Fran