Dates & semolina drop cookies

by Kiran on December 6, 2011 · 100 comments

in Baking, Cookies, Desserts

I am having one of those days where baking is truly testing my patience. I’ve thrown a very bad cheesecake pie, a batch of cranberry scones and I am very sure this all amounts to me losing my baking mojo.

I was almost convinced that my oven or stand-mixer is cursed.

Until I baked this cookies. It changed my life.


I’ve since forgiven and forgotten – and believe it or not, I am not holding any grudges.

Well, at least until the next mishaps. Just keeping it real, honest and practical here, people.

Growing up, me and my Mom would bake tons of cookies. And one of my favorite was semolina cookies. It’s buttery, crumbly and oh so good.

Semolina gives somewhat a crisp texture to a cookie. Not denying the fact that gob-load of butter has something to do with the texture as well.

A twist to this recipe was adding dates. It is naturally sweet and goes very well with this cookie. Just ignore the specks of semolina on the dates, visible from the above photo.

There was an incident of spilling a cup full of semolina flour on the kitchen counter. Let’s ignore that, shall we?

I almost cried and refuse to clean my damned kitchen. But you can do me a favor and try this recipe.

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe


  • 1 stick (or 113 grams) of softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar or agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to bake at 325F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. In a stand or hand mixer, cream butter and sugar till it turns pale in color (about 5 minutes on medium speed)
  3. Add chopped dates, vanilla extract and mix everything until combined.
  4. With mixer on low, slowly add semolina flour, mix and then add all purpose flour.
  5. Mix everything until combined.
  6. Scoop dough using a small cookie/ice cream scoop and place it on the greased baking sheet. The cookie will not spread, but allow some spacing between each scoop for even baking.
  7. Place baking sheet into pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and crisp.
  8. Allow cookies to cool on the sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


And oh, this photos were shot with my brand new macro lens. I hope it’s not cursed.

Have a very happy week and hopefully your baking mojo is very good in comparison to mine. Care sharing?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Simply Life December 6, 2011 at 7:31 PM

ha, I love this- I hate screwing up recipes but they make the perfect one seem even better! 🙂
Simply Life recently posted..Happy Monday: Light Cornbread Recipe

2 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I agree — but I think it happens with me quite often. I might have lost my baking “juju’ 😀

3 Kath December 6, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I have been out of dates for a while – need to restock! <3 them
Kath recently posted..Magazine Over Mind

4 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I hope you did — there’s nothing worse than spending winter without dates. Like how I’ve been spending without figs. I need it in my life. Now.

5 Yummy Morsel December 7, 2011 at 12:45 AM

These cookies are a perfect treat. Great to have them at home to snack on!

6 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Thanks dear — me and the Husband loves snacking on real food 😉

7 Sanjeeta kk December 7, 2011 at 3:23 AM

Love the dates you added in the cookies..and baking with mom…memories to treasure indeed!
Sanjeeta kk recently posted..Chocolate & Vanilla Bread Pudding – Two Easy Eggless Desserts with Custard

8 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 2:55 PM

They added natural sweetness to the cookies and of course, with a nice bite 🙂

9 chinmayie @ love food eat December 7, 2011 at 4:38 AM

All these cookie recipes are making me so weak! Now i have one more recipe to try 🙂
chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..Black and White Wednesday – Gandhi Bazar Market!

10 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Hahaha!! This is just the beginning — there’s so much more to drool over other blogs, especially the ones celebrating Christmas 🙂

11 Seema December 7, 2011 at 5:29 AM

Wow…… I love this Kiran…..YUMMY

12 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Thanks dear — do try and let me know how it tastes 🙂

13 MyFudo December 7, 2011 at 5:50 AM

I am sure the flavor of the dates goes really well with the flavors of semolina flour and butter. These treats are really one of a kind! Time to make a batch to serve my hubby and my little girl. I bet these will be a blast!

14 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Thank you so much — do let me know how it tastes 🙂

15 Jo December 7, 2011 at 5:52 AM

Looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at

16 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Thank you so much!

17 Harsha December 7, 2011 at 7:12 AM

I love the flavors of Semolina and Butter. But a big NO to dates! The cookies came out really well. Nice pics 🙂
Harsha recently posted..Diya

18 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I love suji ka halwa and this tastes almost the same — except with the inclusion of dates 😉

19 La Phemme Phoodie December 7, 2011 at 9:43 AM

If it makes you feel any better I almost always spill flour while baking. I get rushed and things start flying around the kitchen. Best part is when I forget to wipe my hands and then leave floured hand prints on my pants. So glad these cookies made you feel better. Cookies are magical like that.
La Phemme Phoodie recently posted..Touchdown Tarts Trade Party

20 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:16 PM

La Phemme Phoodie,
So happy that I am not alone in all those kitchen mishaps. Got to be honest here, I did laugh a lot reading this comment of yours 😀

21 Asmita December 7, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Cookies look wonderful!

22 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Thanks honey 🙂

23 Bagya December 7, 2011 at 1:33 PM

They look yummy. Will surely ask my mom to do it 🙂
Bagya recently posted..Realize before its too late!

24 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Thank you so much — do let me know how it tastes 🙂

25 Glamorous Glutton December 7, 2011 at 3:04 PM

We’ve all had baking disasters, I made very hard croissants, not lofty soft flaky ones at all! Great results with the macro lens. GG
Glamorous Glutton recently posted..Oreo Stuffed White Chocolate Brownies

26 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Don’t well all. I’ve even created inedible morsels. But we won’t go there 😀

27 balvinder December 7, 2011 at 6:45 PM

You are having these gorgeous cookies with milk I came to invite you for a healthy toast.
balvinder recently posted..Paneer Bites

28 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Thanks for the toast 😉

29 December 7, 2011 at 10:55 PM

simple, lovely recipe! I like dates, A lot! recently posted..Strawberry mocktail

30 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Thanks dear — do try this recipe and let me know how it tastes 🙂

31 sophia December 7, 2011 at 11:50 PM

I love semolina in baking. One of my favorite cake is a semolina cake that tastes like the most delicious corn bread ever. I’m so curious about these drop cookies. Glad you got your baking mojo back!
sophia recently posted..Father and Son Yucatan Tamales

32 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 5:06 PM

I am with you about semolina — it gave this cookie the crunch and light texture.

33 Chopinand @ ChopinandMysaucepan December 8, 2011 at 12:20 AM

Dear Kiran,

Your cookies look delicious and the dates remind me of Muslims when they break fast during Ramadhan.

34 Kiran December 13, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Dear Chopinand,
Thank you for the compliments — and you are right. Dates always reminds me of Eid 🙂

35 Nami | Just One Cookbook December 8, 2011 at 12:46 AM

sigh…. you take super beautiful cookie photos Kiran! I actually did a photo shoot for cookies. HORRIBLE! I absolutely have no luck in taking pictures of cookies. Your photo made me want to grab that cookie and eat it right away. That’s real good photography. This must be a good recipe. Photo is so important…
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Chawanmushi with Shrimp

36 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Thank you so much for the compliments dear, you are way too kind 🙂 Enjoy your holidays with the family!

37 Divya @flavourfiesta December 8, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Yay!! For using the macro lens and for getting your baking mojo back..haha.
The macro shots look great so far, did you find it hard to use at all?

As for the semolina cookies, what can I say? They look yummo (as Rachel Ray would say :P). And, I actually have all the ingredients for once, so I will try this out and let you know how it goes!
Divya @flavourfiesta recently posted..New series- How to create your very OWN magazine!

38 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Thanks honey 🙂
The macro lens is a little different but so easy to navigate. I am having fun using it so far.

Do try this recipe and let me know how it tastes! Happy Holidays, honey 🙂

39 Biana | Simple and Tasty Recipes December 8, 2011 at 4:53 PM

This recipe sounds wonderful – I have not made cookies with semolina before, so that is definitely something to try.

The shots with macro lens look wonderful, definitely not cursed 🙂
Biana | Simple and Tasty Recipes recently posted..Roasted Butternut Squash With Meat Sauce And Yogurt Sauce

40 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Thanks honey — semolina adds a slight crunchiness and nuttiness to any recipe.

41 Carolyn Jung December 8, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Some days, it’s definitely not a good day to bake. I find that when I’m forcing myself to do it, then that’s when things go wrong. But when I’m really in the mood to do it and relaxed and looking forward to it, then all is well. No doubt, you’ve got your baking mojo back from the looks of these gorgeous cookies.

42 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:41 PM


Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting 🙂

43 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella December 8, 2011 at 7:48 PM

These look delicious and I like the addition of dates which would make them sublime! And I have those days in the kitchen too! 😛
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Hayman Island, Whitsundays

44 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:43 PM


Thanks dear — now, I am off to drool at that suckling pig photos on your blog 😀

45 Ann December 8, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Wow – these are absolutely amazing! My husband is crazy for this sort of cookie and I’m definitely bookmarking them! Your lens is most definitely no cursed – your photos are STUNNING!
Ann recently posted..Ginger Lime Carrots

46 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:48 PM


Thanks a lot dear — do try and let me know how it tastes 🙂

47 Ira Rodrigues December 8, 2011 at 9:50 PM

this is what exactly i’m looking for since i have very good dates waiting and would turns into dearly treat. thank you for sharing the recipe kiran 🙂
*book-marked all the way
Ira Rodrigues recently posted..Balinese basic spice paste (Basa Alit)

48 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:49 PM


So glad you would be baking these delicious goodies — do share how it tastes 🙂

49 marla December 8, 2011 at 11:01 PM

I can really see how these cookies could change your life. They would mine as well. Love the idea of dates & semolina together…with all that butter.

50 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:52 PM


Thank you sweetie 🙂

51 Jennifer (Delicieux) December 8, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Your cookies look gorgeous…I especially love that last photo!!

Losing your cooking mojo sounds like what I went through recently. It’s so frustrating when it happens isn’t it, and so hard not to get disheartened. I’m glad that these cookies brought you back though. Yum!
Jennifer (Delicieux) recently posted..Cherry Ripe Cake

52 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliments 🙂

53 Binu Thomas December 9, 2011 at 3:19 AM

Ingredients that I love, and the images are catchy too!! Will surely try to make this (somehow someway).. Thanks Kiran 🙂

54 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Thanks for dropping by my foodblog 🙂 Do try and let me know how it tastes!

55 Quay Po Cooks December 9, 2011 at 3:32 AM

These cookies look lip smacking good. I love the composition of your photos.

56 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Quay Po,

Thanks a lot honey 🙂

57 Ellie December 9, 2011 at 4:18 AM

Lovely little reciipe for a holiday festivity:) Thank you.
I’m not the best cook; but, I definitely going to give this on a try.

Ellie recently anxiety experiences

58 Khushboo December 9, 2011 at 4:21 AM

As much as I love chocolate, I prefer my holiday cookies sans! These look great and I’m loving that the total number of ingredients is only 6…less pulling out/putting away ;)! We have a lot of semolina at home so hopefully I will be able to give them a shot this weekend!
Khushboo recently posted..Checking it twice

59 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:20 PM

I am with you about chocolate cookies. I love plain and simple buttery cookies. Do try and let me know how it tastes 🙂

60 Nava Krishnan December 9, 2011 at 6:53 AM

I am not great in baking Kiran but sure why not in giving a try making these wonderful cookies and I like that you have added dates inside.
Nava Krishnan recently posted..Apple And Cucumber Salad

61 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I am not great at baking either. But these cookies were so simple!

62 Heavenly Housewife December 9, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Life changing cookies??? And I just so happen to have all of the ingredients… this is going to mean trouble for my thighs you know. I can eat these in peace though, knowing when all is done, I can blame you! They sound so good!
*kisses* HH
Heavenly Housewife recently posted..Heavenly Housewife and the Winter Blues

63 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:41 PM


Blame me after trying this delicious cookies! And yes, its life changing 😀

64 Baker Street December 9, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Dates and semolina. Mmmmmm… Your cookies are scrumptious and the pictures are stunning.
Baker Street recently posted..Mocha Walnut Marble Bundt Cake

65 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Baker Street,
Thanks honey 🙂

66 foodhoe December 9, 2011 at 12:33 PM

love the photos, what lens are you using? I am not much of a baker but this recipe sounds like something I can handle!
foodhoe recently posted..An Enchanting Dinner at Regalito Rosticeria, San Francisco

67 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting 🙂

I am using a macro 90mm 2.8 lens. Do try this simple recipe and let me know how it tastes 🙂

68 easyfoodsmith December 9, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Once I get my oven I am going to try them for sure. They look absolutely delicious and they make for a healthy snack. Congrats for your new camera 🙂 Great shots!
easyfoodsmith recently posted..KALE MOTI BIRYANI – BLACK PEARLS BIRYANI (Fragrant rice speckled with spicy Bengal grams served with Cucumber Raita)

69 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:50 PM


Thanks a lot honey — here’s wishing you get the oven, soonish 🙂

70 Hotly Spiced December 11, 2011 at 6:05 AM

I love the look of these cookies. And your photos are beautiful.
Hotly Spiced recently posted..Is Nothing Sacred?

71 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Thank you so much!

72 Nash at Plateful December 11, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Cookies are I are great friends these days. I’ve been baking crazy and sharing them too 🙂 Even so, I could nibble on your tempting treats.. the only prob is I don’t think I’ve seen semolina flour around here in Qatar.
Nash at Plateful recently posted..Green Mango Chutney — Uppumanaga Chalichathu — homemade condiment for the side

73 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Cookies are everyone’s great friend. My waist is not happy 😀

You can always use any flour, i.e garbanzo, almond or even regular all purpose flour for this recipe 🙂

74 Magda December 11, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Such beautiful cookies. I love dates and I use semolina very often in sweets. We use it a lot in Greek cuisine.

Love your photos!
Magda recently posted..Sofigado, the Greek sweet and sour beef stew

75 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliments, sweetie 🙂

76 Kelly @ Inspired Edibles December 11, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Kiran, your photography is always so captivating… I’m sold even before I see the recipe ingredients! Beautiful drop cookies. Life changing you say? Sounds like a must try 🙂

77 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 5:03 PM


“Life changing” is just merely, how do I put it – controversial 😀

Thanks a lot for the sweet comment, honey 🙂

78 Heather @girlichef December 11, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Oh, I would ADORE a couple of these with some of that cold milk. They look lovely! And yeah, I totally have times where I feel like something is cursed and the stars won’t align. Sigh.
Heather @girlichef recently posted..Caldo Tlalpeño {Garbanzo-Vegetable Soup w/ Smoky Broth}

79 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 5:05 PM


Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the sweet comment 🙂

80 Alli@peasepudding December 11, 2011 at 9:34 PM

I have days like that if I am really tired or rushed and still insist on baking. These cookies look and sound perfect
Alli@peasepudding recently posted..Pacific Christmas Cake with Tropical Fruit & White Chocolate

81 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 5:08 PM


Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting, sweetie 🙂

82 Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake December 12, 2011 at 8:03 AM

I’ve had plenty of baking mishaps, so much so that I’ve almost given up baking…those cookies look amazing though, love your photos!
Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake recently posted..Der Raum, Richmond – exclusive bar with character

83 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 5:11 PM


Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for commenting, dear 🙂 Don’t ever give up on baking. Keep on trying!

84 Caroline December 12, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Oh my! These cookies look lovely, and your photos are gorgeous. Love the milk in that glass jar. 🙂
Caroline recently posted..worth the wait. [onion soup w. sage brown butter, fried sage & homemade croutons]

85 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 5:13 PM


Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the lovely compliments 🙂

86 Reem | Simply Reem December 13, 2011 at 2:54 AM

These cookies look wonderful Kiran….
I know about baking disasters, they define me … LOL
But trust me Baking is like marriage it keep getting better provided you keep working on it..
Do I even make sense LOL

87 Kiran December 14, 2011 at 5:15 PM


Yes, you did made sense — about baking & marriage 😀 Lol, you always make me smile with your witty-ful comments!!!

88 mycookinghut December 16, 2011 at 4:37 PM

I would love some please! 🙂
mycookinghut recently posted..malaysian-thai chicken curry

89 Kiran December 18, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Thanks sweetie, I wish I could teleport some to everyone. It’s so simple to bake, though 🙂

90 Marj December 17, 2011 at 6:29 PM

I just put together the batter for these cookies, and they don’t hold together at all…is there a missing ingredient (egg/milk/water)? Thanks.

91 Kiran December 18, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I am so sorry the batter isn’t holding together. Just realized that by using agave nectar/honey, the batter holds up pretty well, resulting in crumbly and light cookies.

Here are my suggestions:
a) If you are using sugar, add 2 eggs into the wet ingredients.
b) For a healthier route, sub sugar for honey or agave nectar. That way, you won’t need eggs or extra butter 🙂

Let me know what worked the best for you and I could add the note in this recipe. Thanks for the alert and happy baking 🙂

92 Marj December 18, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Thanks so much for responding. I wound up adding 1 egg, and the cookies were delicious…will try the agave, though. That makes sense!

93 Kiran December 21, 2011 at 12:13 AM

You are most welcome, and Thanks for the info, sweetie 🙂

94 Cristina, from BA to Paris December 18, 2011 at 3:51 PM

I’m a date addict…Your cakes are heavenlike to me!!

95 Kiran December 21, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliment!

BTW, this is a cookie recipe, not cake 🙂

96 Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice December 19, 2011 at 10:58 PM

My first time visiting your blog and already I’m hooked. In the Middle East we make semolina cookies stuffed with dates (ma’amoul). They’re my favorite. Yours look amazing!
Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice recently posted..Lemony Orzo with Shrimp and Herbs

97 Kiran December 21, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Welcome to Recipebox and thanks for the compliments 🙂 I did sample a ma’amoul before and those are delicious. Must make some soon!

98 Christy @ Confessions of a Culinary Diva December 20, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Can’t wait to try these – I live in the Coachella Valley and many varieties of dates are locally grown and readily accessible. Always looking for new things to try!

99 Kiran December 21, 2011 at 12:41 AM

Lucky you! Send some dates my way 😀 Let me know how the cookies tastes…

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