Thursday, August 23, 2012

Honey Date Cookies

Honey is one of those ingredients of which I'm a bit uncertain, in terms of its health properties.  My mother used to eat it frequently when she was ill. She ate no sweets other than honey.  Honey has medicinal properties as a topical antiseptic (the Egyptians used it on wounds) and supposedly, if you eat local honey this allows your body to slowly begin to tolerate local pollen through gradual exposure.

I don't eat honey as an 'everyday' or even an 'every week' food like my mother.  Outside of this baking blog, the foods I tend to eat on a regular basis can be kind of boring (roast chicken, full-fat Greek yogurt, nuts, and vegetables).  I like them, but I like talking about the jazzy treat foods I make much more.  This blog is the '10 percent' of my diet or  the '1 percent' and as everyone knows, a show called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous draws a larger audience than Lifestyles of the Middle Class and Obscure.

So I regard honey as one of my 'treat' foods rather than one of my staples.  I think it probably does have some health benefits but one of my Pollan-anna-ish rules of eating is: "if you once went crazy with a jar of honey, an entire loaf of bread, butter, and peanut butter as a kid, try to control your intake of honey."

So...honey cookies are a portion-controlled way of enjoying honey...

Two very important notes:  one problem with honey-flavored baked goods is that they very rarely taste like honey because the amount of honey in them is so infinitesimal.  So these are cookies that actually taste like honey.

The downside is that, with all of the liquid in them, they spread like crazy.  I noticed that the cookies spread in the original blog post but was too much in a rush to chill the dough before baking.  I was able to save these cookies by tapping them back into a circular shape with a spoon but I would say that in retrospect chilling overnight is a MUST for this dough, and don't over-bake them.

Honey Date Cookies

--yields 18-24 cookies--

Adapted from Warm Vanilla Sugar

1/2 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 large, beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup of chopped, pitted dates


1. Cream butter and sugar, then add honey, egg and vanilla.

2. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.

3. Spoon wet into dry mixture, fold in dates.

4. Chill for at least an hour to overnight, until dough is firm.

5. Scoop onto two parchment-lined cookie sheets. Cookies may still spread, so leave at least 2 inches of space between the cookies.

6. Bake 7-10 minutes at 375F.  Remove from oven and cool for 10-15 minutes before removing cookies from the baking sheet.  


  1. I am beginning to be concerned about how often an entire loaf of bread makes it's way into your posts. And by "concerned," I mean that it makes me want to eat an entire loaf of bread slathered with butter and honey.

  2. Haha--maybe it is something subconscious on my part, or my way of atoning for past dietary sins to talk about the deed rather than to do it...