Oatmeal Date Cookies


09 Mar Oatmeal Date Cookies


It was quite the weekend for Christie’s Corner. Friday, Andrew and I headed to Kingston to visit family, knock down an outhouse and stock up on Cooke’s fine coffee. Sunday we left with 2 pounds of fresh Italian roast, “commode demolition” added to Andrew’s resume and $645 worth of car repairs. Oh yes, and a recipe.

While I am eternally grateful our alternator died in downtown Kingston and not on the 401, we were rain-soaked and cold when we ground to an inelegant halt right outside the Hotel Dieu Hospital late Saturday afternoon. After a tow to a nearby garage and being picked up by Andrew’s parents like high school kids after a matinee, we took solace in a hot turkey dinner and homemade cookies. Ironically, these date-filled delights came from a cookbook that raises funds for Almost Home, a charity that provides support and affordable accommodation for parents whose children are staying in Kingston area hospitals — one of which is Hotel Dieu Hospital.

The next day, while Andrew picked up the car, I helped myself to his share of these cookies. I’d feel guilty, but he was sent home with leftover turkey. Aren’t moms great?

Anyway, this old-fashioned cookie draws upon the classic date and oatmeal combination but has a modern to-order twist. Because you assemble them yourself, you control how little or how much filling goes in to each one. As you can see, I like a modest amount.


Don’t like dates? Just eat the cookies. Their buttery, crunchiness makes them good enough to gobble on their own.


Oatmeal Cookies with Date Filling
Printable recipe


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups large flake oatmeal
  • 1/2 lb dates (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water, depending how gooey you like the filling
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add egg and combine thoroughly.
  3. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add oatmeal and toss to incorporate evenly.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to wet, half at a time, mixing well each time.
  5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Flatten well with the tines of a fork.
  6. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack once done.
  7. Meanwhile, make the date filling: combine, dates, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to to a boil, stirring constantly. When mixture boils, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until the mixture is thick and spreadable.
  8. Assemble when ready to eat: Spread one cookie with desired amount of date filling then top with a second cookie to create a sandwich.

  • Divawrites
    Posted at 11:23h, 09 March Reply

    My aunt Beryl makes a version of this, and there would be ziplock bags of these and her chocolate chip cookies on the counter at the farm when I was a kid. When my mother turned 80 2 years ago, Auntie Beryl arrived with 50 dozen of her cookies…and left with about 2. We scrambled for the leftovers.

    Hmm, might need to bake some today.

  • cheryl
    Posted at 12:26h, 09 March Reply

    Beautiful, beautiful photo!

    I’m sorry the car broke down, but happy to have this recipe because I just bought a big bag of Medjool dates at the farmers’ market yesterday. Are they reasonably priced where you are? They’re really expensive out here, but so very worth it.

  • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart
    Posted at 15:10h, 09 March Reply

    I’ve been dying for some oatmeal cookies the last couple of days. These look yummy.

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 18:56h, 09 March Reply

    I love the date-lemon filling!! yum!!

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 20:45h, 09 March Reply

    Your post gave me a double blast to the past. Not only did I grow up eating these cookies – my grandma used to make them and I loved them not just as cookies but as a grab and go breakfast, too!

    And, I lived in Kingston for 4 years while I went to University. It was such a great time not just because being a university student is such a wonderful part of young adulthood but also because Kingston is such a pretty place.

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 23:15h, 09 March Reply

    Diva, 50 dozen cookies gobbled? That’s a record. But also a testament to their goodness.

    Cheryl, thanks for the compliment. Hope you enjoy your date cookies. Talk about perfect timing.

    Roxanne, if you try them, let me know how they turn out.

    Jennifer, the lemon really cuts the sweetness and lifts the flavour. I just love that combination.

    Dana, I wish I’d grown up on these cookies. My grandmother didn’t make this kind. And Kingston is a lovely city, but not in the rain when your car has broken down…

  • Elyse
    Posted at 17:20h, 14 March Reply

    Mmm, these cookies look fantastic. What a fabulous combination! Just found your blog on my google reader recommended feeds, and I’m so glad that I did! Your blog is great; can’t wait to read more!

  • Kevin
    Posted at 20:48h, 15 March Reply

    Those cookies look good! I like the use of the dates!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 21:27h, 15 March Reply

    Elyse, thanks for letting me know how you found me and taking the time to comment. I’m glad you like the blog.

    Kevin, be warned. These cookies are addictive1

  • Ann Goring
    Posted at 09:38h, 16 August Reply

    My Gramma made these every Christmas.Cut them with a mustard tin cutter, so they are rectangular, not round. All the ladies in the small farming community made them also, they were a tradition. Only some of us are left that remember them, and we yearn for them. I woke up this morning thinking about them, and am going to make them today! Thank you!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:51h, 16 August Reply

      A mustard tin? Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I am stealing that idea! I just love it.

      This recipe is really lovely as it has a bit of lemon to cut the sweetness of the dates. My mother-in-law makes them often and I cannot be trusted near them. I hope they turn out the way you imagine. Rediscovering a past favourite recipe can be a bit like running into an old friend. Happy baking.

  • Ann Goring
    Posted at 14:23h, 16 August Reply

    Thanks Charmian, yes I did think my Gramma was brilliant for many reasons. They didn’t have alot , but they worked hard and enjoyed their family and life, and left us their legends, truly worthy and respectable. I miss them and I have her cookbooks and utensils, and I think of her daily, and realize what an honour and priviledge it was to be her grandaughter! Have a great day!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:46h, 17 August Reply

      I feel that way about my grandmother. I don’t have any of her cookbooks but remember baking cookies with her in her tiny kitchen. I have never been able to reproduce the results despite following the recipe to the letter. Nothing can ever live up to my memories. Thanks for sharing and I may you use her cookbooks and utensils for many happy years to come.

  • Ann Goring
    Posted at 10:08h, 17 August Reply

    Well as you say, I have some of her books and bowls, but my creations aren’t like hers neither. They don’t taste as good.She was a master at the art of cooking on her woodstove. Everything she made was delicious, many people will attest to that, some of the best cooks I know , have said that. I try to make replicas but they aren’t like hers. So good job we have memories, as the saying goes, “‘ God gave us memory so that we may have roses in December” and I beleive he gave us Grammas so that we have the best memories ever!

  • Vachi Spivey
    Posted at 10:01h, 24 June Reply

    How many does this recipe make, when combined into sandwiches?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:04h, 01 July Reply

      I’m mortified to tell you I have no idea. I haven’t made this recipe in years and stupidly didn’t take proper notes.

      When I remake these I’ll update the post — with better photos and a more detailed recipe. Again, I’m very sorry I don’t have this basic information for you.

Post A Reply to Jennifer Cancel Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.


Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!