Food & dining

Recipe: Wrap up sugary, chewy oatmeal-date cookies to give away as gifts

Oatmeal-date cookies with walnuts
Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe
Oatmeal-date cookies with walnuts

Makes about 24

Sweet and sugary on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle, these cookies are sturdy enough to pack without breaking. For a homemade, old-fashioned look, arrange them in tins lined with wax paper, or pack them in a box or cellophane bag. To prevent the dates from sticking to the knife, some cooks coat the blade with nonstick cooking spray. Also, because the walnut pieces are small, it can be hard to tell when they’re toasted; when they smell fragrant, they’re ready.

cup walnuts, finely chopped
¾cup flour
½teaspoon baking soda
½teaspoon salt
½cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at
room temperature
cup granulated sugar
cup packed light brown sugar
1egg
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
3ounces pitted Medjool dates, cut into small pieces (to make cup)
3tablespoons turbinado sugar, or more, spread on a plate (for coating)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. In a small baking dish, spread the walnuts. Toast for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until they are fragrant.

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3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt to blend them.

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4. In an electric mixer, beat the butter with the granulated and brown sugars until blended. Beat in the egg and vanilla. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, blend in the flour mixture, oats, dates, and walnuts.

5. Use a large rubber spatula to scrape up the dough from the bottom to make sure it is all mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until the dough is firm enough to shape.

6. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. Shape the dough with your hands into 1½-inch balls. Roll the balls in the turbinado sugar and place on the baking sheets 2 inches apart.

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8. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown and the tops are set. Set the baking sheets on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.

9. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely.

Jean Kressy

Jean Kressy can be reached at jeankressy@comcast.net.