These Chewy Oatmeal Date Cookies are reminiscent of old-fashioned oatmeal cookies with a slightly elevated execution. Caramelized browned butter dates add chew, sweetness and depth of flavor while the cookie itself is insanely chewy and soft. To balance out all of the sweetness and bold flavors, a bit of lemon zest is added to the dough for brightness and balance. 

The beauty of this cookie is in its versatility. It’s right at home alongside other cookies and bars, and can easily be a dinner party dessert when topped with a scoop of vanilla, a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt

I’ve been baking cookies for as long as I can remember. It’s the first thing I really mastered in the kitchen and it’s still the thing I turn to when I need a little baking comfort. And this recipe is a good example of something I’ve been baking for years.

It’s my modern take on the old-fashioned oatmeal cookie—it’s everything you love about the classic cookie just taken up a notch. 

To balance out the sweetness I add a good dose of salt, some miso (yes) for savory saltiness and a bit of lemon zest to brighten everything up. Not to mention the browned buttered dates and toasted pecans! This date-nut mixture ALONE is delicious. Spoon that over some ice cream, and you’ve already got a hell of a dessert.

All that to say, the result is a cookie that’s balanced and nuanced all at once. 

Brown sugar, white sugar, egg, lemon, vanilla, butter, dates, miso, oats, flour and pecans set out on a counter.

Ingredients Needed 

The full recipe, including ingredient amount and instructions, can be found in the recipe card below. 

  • Butter: I usually recommend using unsalted butter because that’s what I develop recipes with and it’s the best way to replicate the recipe. If you’re using salted (totally get it) decrease the salt by ¼ teaspoon. 
  • Dates: for the best texture, buy whole dates with the pits intact. I find pitted dates dry out pretty fast and will have a negative impact on the texture of the cookie.
  • Nuts: an optional addition but a welcome one! I like to use chopped pecans but walnuts are also a great option.
  • Sugar: you’ll need both light brown sugar and white sugar for this recipe. The combo achieves the perfect chewy texture in the cookies. 
  • All purpose flour: when measuring the flour, be sure to fluff, spoon and level (if you don’t have a food scale). 
  • Old fashioned rolled oats: Do not use quick oats or steel cut oats. 
  • Baking Soda
  • Kosher Salt 
  • Lemon: you’ll need some lemon zest and lemon juice for this recipe.
  • Vanilla Extract: pure vanilla extract will add the best flavor. 
  • White Miso Paste: miso paste adds a savory sweetness to the cookies. Basically it adds depth of flavor. I’ve had good luck with both white miso and red miso—use what you’ve got.  
  • Egg: you’ll need one large egg. A large egg, out of shell, should weight about 50 grams.

How to Make Oatmeal Date Cookies 

  1. Cook the Dates and Nuts
Cooked chopped nuts and dates in a skillet with butter.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and dates and cook, stirring frequently, until the dates are browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. 

  1. Beat the Butter and Sugar Together 
Whipped butter and sugar in a glass bowl.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugars and miso together until smooth.

Whipped butter and sugar in a glass bowl.

Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla followed by the egg and the lemon juice.

  1. Add the Dry Ingredients
Oatmeal cookie dough in a glass bowl with a paddle attachment set in it.

Add the oats, flour, baking soda and salt and mix to combine. 

  1. Mix in Dates
Oatmeal cookie dough with chunks of dates and nuts mixed in. Paddle attachment set in the dough.

Add the cooled date and nut mixture to the dough and mix on low spead just until combined. 

  1. Chill the Dough 

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 30–60 minutes. 

  1. Scoop and Bake

Scoop the cookie dough using a #24 scoop or 2 ½ tablespoons, and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly press dough balls to 1-inch thickness. Bake until the edges are golden brown and set. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Storage Tips 

Store Oatmeal Date Cookies at room temperature in an airtight container or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I find these cookies are best within 3 days of baking—they’re good for longer, but they do tend to get softer with time. Once they’ve lost some of their crispness, use them to make ice cream sandwiches!

Oatmeal date cookies set on a wire rack with dates, oats and pecans set around. One cookie with a bite taken out.

Make it a Full Dessert

These cookies are absolutely delicious on their own, but I’ve found they are even better with a scoop (or two) of ice cream. Place a cookie in a bowl, top with a scoop of ice cream and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of flaky sea salt

These date oatmeal cookies are also great for making ice cream sandwiches. 

We’ve got loads of cookie recipes to try, here are some of my favorite! And if you’re looking for some more date-nut action, be sure to check out my Date Nut Bread!

Oatmeal Date Cookies Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Yield 17 cookies
Category Dessert
Cuisine Amercican

Description

Chewy old-fashioned oatmeal cookies made with dates, a touch of miso and lemon zest. Each bite is full of flavor and beautifully balanced.

Ingredients

Date-Nut Mixture

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup (88g) toasted chopped pecans or walnuts
  • cup (100g/6 dates) chopped dates

Cookie Dough

  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon minced lemon zest
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ¼ cup (162g) all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • flaky sea salt, optional

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add nuts and dates and cook, stirring frequently, until dates are brown and fragrant, 3–5 minutes.
  • Scrape mixture to a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature (or pop it in the fridge/freezer for quicker cooling).
  • In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and miso on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping and scraping down sides of bowl a few times.
  • Add ½ teaspoon minced lemon zest and vanilla and beat to combine. Add egg and mix on medium-high speed until pale in color and fluffy, about 30 seconds.
  • In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Add flour mixture and mix on low speed to combine, about 30 seconds. Add date-nut mixture and mix to combine.
  • Press a piece of plastic wrap against dough and chill until firm, 30 minutes–1 hour.
  • Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC) with rack set in middle position; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using a #24 scoop (50g or 2 ½ tablespoons), scoop dough and arrange 1½ inches apart on prepared sheet pan. Lightly press dough balls to 1-inch thickness.
  • Bake cookies until edges are set and golden brown, 12–14 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
  • Transfer sheet pan to wire rack, sprinkle cookies with flaky sea salt and let cookies cool on sheet pan for 5–10 minutes, or until set enough to easily transfer to rack with hands.

Video

Notes

A darker colored baking sheet will result in thicker cookies. A lighter-colored baking sheet will cause more spread and thinner cookies.
If you do not have a food scale, be sure to fluff, spoon and level off the flour. 
Store Oatmeal Date Cookies at room temperature in an airtight container or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 856mgFiber: 2.5gSugar: 14g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Oatmeal date cookies set on a wire rack with dates, oats and pecans set around.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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