DO NOT preheat oven yet. The dough needs to chill before baking!
2 cups chopped pitted dates
¾ cup boiling water
1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 beaten eggs (beat them in a glass or cup with a fork)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz. package)
5-1/2 cups flour (don’t need to sift, but pack it down in cup when measuring)
Sugar in a small bowl for rolling cookie balls before baking process)
Pour the boiling water over the chopped dates, stir with a fork and set aside to cool.
Melt butter in microwave safe bowl or in small saucepan if you have an aversion to microwave ovens like I do! Set butter aside to cool. In the bowl of electric mixer combine sugar, baking soda, salt and eggs. Beat well. Add date mixture and mix in thoroughly. Once dates are mixed in, add chocolate chips and mix in. Then add the melted butter and mix thoroughly. Add the flour in half-cup increments (that will be 11 half-cups if you are doing this recipe as is). However, if you are making just half of the recipe, use 5 half-cups and one 1/4 cup (this is where I erred on making a half batch). This is not rocket science, but I managed to mess it up royally! WAIT A MINUTE. Double check the math. I may have calculated incorrectly! Learn from my mistakes, and please don’t tell anyone I used to work with numbers—-huge amounts of money—- in my IBM days. Maybe that’s why they had a big downturn in 1990 and offered me a buyout!!!!
After each half cup addition of flour, beat the mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and give it a final stir by hand. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls with your scrupulously clean hands. The dough may be sticky, so roll only enough for the cookies you plan to bake immediately and then return the bowl to the refrigerator. Roll the dough balls in a bowl of white sugar and place on greased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Place only 12 on each cookie sheet. Flatten them slightly with your hand or drinking glass so they don’t fall off on the way to the oven. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. I actually bake for 9-10 minutes in our convection oven, but ovens vary so watch closely and don’t over bake. If you aren’t using a convection oven, you should probably only bake one pan at a time. Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes. Then remove cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. Sample one or two to be sure they are worthy of sharing!
Yield: 8 to 10 dozen delicious cookie. Extras may be frozen up to 3 months in sturdy freezer bags. If you make the entire recipe and bake them all in the same day, you may not get anything else accomplished because it takes a long time to roll 120 cookies and then roll them in sugar. If you need help, ask husband or innocent bystander to scrub like a surgeon and help you!
If you make these and they turn out great, please share the good news with me. And please do share some of these cookies with someone around you who could use a little perk at this time of year, a time which can seriously sad and lonely for some! As C. S. Lewis so appropriately states, “As Christians, we can’t love the whole world. But we should remember that God has placed us in a specific community at a particular time. We’re called to love those around us. Loving them means serving them—and in doing so, we become the best of citizens.” I love this sentiment from C. S. Lewis and would be remiss if I didn’t include my Jewish friends, many who have shown Jerry and me so much love over the years. Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas everyone!