Date Confections


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


    2 inch cookies

Appears in

Oven Temperature 350°F/175°C
Baking Time 10 to 15 minutes for each of four batches

I fell in love with this confection in 2010 when Naomi Lewin, a host on WQXR radio in New York City, made these for me when she interviewed me for a Christmas show she called Nutcracker Sweets. And how deliciously sweet these are! Essentially, they are chopped date and almond meringues. The nuts add crunch, the dates contribute a marvelously moist and chewy interior, and the whole is encased in a thin, crisp meringue shell. This is a family heirloom from Naomi’s Oma (“grandmother”) Hanna Gaaertner, who emigrated from Germany.


Make the Date Nut Meringue

See recipe.

Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Pipe or Spread the Date Nut Meringue

Scoop about one-quarter of the meringue into the pastry bag, if using. If using the back-oblaten, holding one back-oblaten in your hand, pipe a mound of the batter, about 1 inch high (0.5 ounce/15 grams), onto it. Leave a inch exposed edge of the back-oblaten because the batter will expand sideways. Set the cookie on a cookie sheet. Alternatively, use a small metal spatula to spread the mixture onto the back-oblaten. Smooth the top of the meringue mound with a fingertip first dipped lightly in water. Pipe or spread 11 more meringue mounds.

(If not using the back-oblaten, pipe 2 inch wide mounds onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving a minimum of 1 inch in between each. If making some cookies with back-oblaten and some without, bake each type on separate cookie sheets because the back-oblaten cookies take longer to bake.)

Bake the Cookies

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until set and the tops are lightly browned. (When pressed very lightly with a fingertip there will be very little give.)

Cool the Cookies

Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet until room temperature.

While each batch of cookies is baking, pipe the meringue mixture for the next batch.


Airtight: room temperature, 2 weeks; frozen, 2 months.

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