Saudi Date Cookies

March 4, 2010  •  Category:


This cookie epitomizes Saudi Arabia for most of us: A large country with a huge desert, lots of date trees and tons of oil. It is also the country where the Prophet Mohammed  صلى الله عليه وسلم  was born and where he spearheaded  one of the world’s largest  religions.

These are called Al Harrisah.

No baking required!


  • 12 ounces of good quality dates such as mejdool or deglet noor, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces of toasted walnuts (or any other nuts you like-optional)
  • 1 generous teaspoon of ground cardamom

For the optional garnish: a handful of chopped pistachios, or a handful of unsweetened shredded coconut, about 1/2 cup of syrup to help the garnish adhere to the cookie (optional).


  1. Place the dates in a food processor bowl.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat, add the butter and let it foam; ad the flour and stir till the flour is toasted and cooked (as if making a roux for gumbo); add the walnuts and cardamom and stir a few seconds and place the entire mixture in the food processor.
  3. Process till the mixture is pasty. Dump the paste into a bowl and  start shaping the cookies.
  4. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, shape into balls and dip in the syrup a bit then into the pistachios or coconut. Serve.
  5. These cookies will keep for at least a week tightly sealed in the fridge.


25 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Ann Luke says:

    Bravo. I was a little intimidated with the original quantities posted for this, I thought it was a lot more oil? I’m going to try the meat dish next week, it intrigues me….

  2. Arlette says:

    Very elegant date bites…
    I like the way you rolled them in pistachoes to give a vibrant color and flavour of course

  3. 5 Star Foodie says:

    I love that there’s no baking required – a perfect recipe for me! And the cookies are so scrumptious!

  4. PJ says:

    Wow how easy!!Looks so delish!!!

  5. Priya says:

    Such an energy booster to enjoy without any guilt…looks fabulous!

  6. Sushma Mallya says:

    very pretty cookies,havent tried using dates but would love to try it soon…thanks for sharing

  7. Rosa says:

    I love those! Yours look very pretty!



  8. Maninas says:

    They’re gorgeous

  9. Joanne says:

    These are basically the same thing as Larabars and the raw food donut holes that healthy food bloggers everywhere have been making! I love that they have roots in an actual cuisine. They look delicious.

  10. Juanita says:

    These look great! Traditional South African cooking has something similar, called “Date Balls”. The SA version includes crumbled biscuits and coconut instead of cardamom and walnuts.

  11. Joie de vivre says:

    Thank you so much for visiting! I’m so excited to find your blog. I love learning new ways of cooking through different cultures. I’ve added your RSS feed to my Google reader. I’m looking forward to your future posts! 🙂

  12. The London Foodie says:

    Hi Joumana, your photography is just sensational, and I also love the new look of your blog, congrats! Have a lovely weekend!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  13. Preety says:

    Love the recipe..will give this a try

  14. Faith says:

    I love dates but I’ve never had these cookies — they’re going on my “to-make” list right now. They look incredibly delicious!

  15. Nour El-Zibdeh says:

    I’ve heard so much about them but never made them. Thanks for sharing. I love dates by the way 🙂 Same as my son… I actually have to hide them because he won’t anything else if he sees dates… 🙂

  16. noobcook says:

    I love no-bake cookie recipes. Glad to find your blog where I can learn more about Lebanese food. Thanks for visiting me ^_^

  17. Laura says:

    These look great!

  18. Kitchen Butterfly says:

    I think I’d like them….I love cardamom. They looks very elegant

  19. heni says:

    These look amazing Joumana!

  20. Julie says:

    Mince, hier j’ai failli acheter des dattes mais j’ai eu peur de ne pas savoir qu’en faire à part les manger comme ça. Si j’avais vu ta recette avant, je les aurais sûrement prises, ça a l’air bon!
    Gros bisous

  21. Stella says:

    Hi Joumana, these date cookies look so easy to make. I love dates, and I suppose this is a raw food too. A friend of mine from North Africa always says that the prophet Mohammed (salaam w salaat) loved dates!

  22. cmiranda says:

    Thanks for the recipe.I’ll try surprising my boyfriend with these next time i see him.He’s from KSA.

  23. Lori says:

    I love dates. They are such a treat. Nice for the wamr weatehr too.

  24. Mimi says:

    Such a sweet treat. So easy to make too.

  25. Chai Tea says:

    It’s my first visit on your blog and I am amazed by your recipes. They looks so delicious. I will go back!

Add a Comment