I knew as soon as I’d tasted my first Byron Bay Sticky Date and Ginger Cookie that I was onto something good. Sold only at a few select cafes around town, they are my favourite treat when out for coffee. The flavour combination is incredible; a sweet and spicy combination that just works and robust texture that is chewy with crunch – no wonder they win prizes! Sadly though, I see them only occasionally… so it was time to re-create them at home.
A few years back I tried to make them, but gave up quickly without much success. This version I believe is much closer to the goal – they even look similar! Because most of the ingredients are combined in a food processor, this recipe is low on dishes (important) and because the actual baking of them can be delayed, it means that you can do all the prep work today, pop them in the fridge to chill, clean up relax and then bake and enjoy them warm tomorrow.
I’m particularly addicted to the chewy texture and bright, spicy nature of these cookies. (If you’ve ever eaten the German Honey Biscuit you will know what I mean). They’re also chock-full of whole grains, dried fruit and nuts. Advice to the weak-willed (such as myself): do not leave them lying around. I may or may not have had three for breakfast, while writing this post… just sayin’!
Sticky Date and Ginger Cookies V.2
Inspired by Byron Bay Cookie Company and adapted from Taste.com.au
Makes approximately 35 cookies
200g (1 1/3 cups packed) dried dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
100g (½ cup) packed soft brown sugar
½ cup caster sugar
125g (2/3 cup) butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
300g (2 cups) wholemeal (whole-wheat) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50g (½ cup) rolled oats
60g (½ cup) crumbed walnuts
100g (1 cup) glacé ginger
2-3 tablespoons rice flour
In a small heatproof bowl, combine ¾ cup chopped dates, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 tablespoons boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
Place butter and sugars in food processor, and process until thick and creamy. Add the soaked dates, egg and vanilla extract and process until combined to a paste. Add the flour, salt and spices and pulse 20-30 times; scrape down and pulse again, until mixture comes together in a sticky dough. Last of all add the oats and half the walnuts and process until only partially cut in. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Remove to large mixing bowl.
Roughly chop remaining dates, walnuts and glacé ginger and knead into the dough with your hands until incorporated. Remove to floured bench and knead lightly until smooth. Roll into a 5cm diameter log, wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour, but preferably overnight, until dough is chilled through and quite solid.
Once chilled, remove and slice into discs 1 cm thick. Place disks onto lined baking trays and bake at 180degC (350degF) for 12-15 mins, until slightly brown but still soft (they will harden on cooling). Cool and enjoy.
I’ve written crumbed walnuts in the ingredients list. These are walnuts that are already broken up into small pieces and cost far less. Because you will not need whole nuts at all for this recipe, why not save yourself some time, effort and money and get them pre-crumbed.