Albanian Date Cookies Recipe - Traditional & Delicious

Albanian Date Cookies

Albanian Date Cookies Recipe - Traditional & Delicious
Region / culture: Albania | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 24


Albanian Date Cookies
Albanian Date Cookies

Albanian Date Cookies, known locally as Kurabie me Arra dhe Datë, are a delightful treat that combines the sweetness of dates and the crunchiness of nuts with a soft, syrup-soaked dough. This traditional recipe has been passed down through generations, becoming a staple in Albanian households, especially during festive seasons and celebrations. The unique blend of flavors and textures makes these cookies not just a dessert but a journey into Albanian culinary culture.


The origins of Albanian Date Cookies can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, which had a significant influence on Albanian cuisine. Over the years, local ingredients like dates, nuts, and citrus fruits were incorporated, giving birth to this beloved recipe. Traditionally, these cookies were made for special occasions, such as weddings, Eid, and Christmas, symbolizing sweetness and prosperity.



How to prepare

  1. Boil until a syrup forms.
  2. Combine oil, orange juice, and vanilla.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients and add them slowly to the liquid, mixing thoroughly.
  4. The dough should be soft and moist.
  5. If necessary, add more flour.
  6. Form the dough into balls.
  7. Press dates or raisins into the middle and roll.
  8. Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 20–25 minutes at 350°F (177°C).
  10. Dip the cooled cookies into warm syrup.
  11. Press the top of each cookie into ground nuts, and let them dry.


  • For a twist on the traditional recipe, try using different types of nuts or dried fruits. Almonds, pistachios, or dried apricots can offer new flavors and textures.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Albanian Date Cookies turn out perfectly, consider these tips:

- When making the syrup, ensure it reaches the right consistency; it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

- Use room temperature ingredients to ensure the dough mixes evenly.

- Be gentle when forming the dough balls to keep the texture light.

- Allow the syrup to cool slightly before dipping the cookies to avoid them becoming too soggy.

- Pressing the cookies into ground nuts not only adds texture but also helps to absorb any excess syrup.

Serving Suggestions

These cookies are best served at room temperature. They can be presented on a platter, garnished with extra ground nuts or powdered sugar for a festive look.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in this recipe involve making a syrup and forming the dough into balls. Achieving the right syrup consistency and handling the dough gently are crucial for the perfect outcome.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a healthier version, whole wheat flour can replace all-purpose flour, and honey can substitute for sugar in the syrup. For a nut-free version, seeds like sesame or sunflower can be used.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough can be prepared in advance and refrigerated overnight. The syrup can also be made ahead of time and gently reheated before use.

Presentation Ideas

Serve these cookies on a decorative plate with a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of fresh mint leaves for a refreshing contrast.

Pairing Recommendations

Albanian Date Cookies pair wonderfully with a cup of strong coffee or tea. The bitterness of the beverage complements the sweetness of the cookies.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They can be gently reheated in the oven to refresh the texture if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Albanian Date Cookies is relatively high in calories, primarily due to the sugar, nuts, and flour. The exact calorie count can vary based on the size of the cookies and the specific ingredients used.


Each serving of Albanian Date Cookies is rich in carbohydrates, primarily from sugar and flour, providing the body with energy. The dates and raisins also contribute natural sugars and a small amount of dietary fiber.


The fats in these cookies come from the nuts and any oil used in the dough. Nuts provide healthy unsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.


Proteins in this recipe are found in moderate amounts, mainly from the nuts and a small contribution from the flour. Nuts are a good source of plant-based protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Dates and nuts are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Dates are rich in potassium, magnesium, and B-vitamins, while nuts provide magnesium, zinc, and vitamin E, among others.


Common allergens in this recipe include nuts and gluten. Those with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Albanian Date Cookies are a delicious treat that offers a mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals. However, due to their sugar and calorie content, they should be enjoyed in moderation.


Albanian Date Cookies are a delightful blend of sweet, nutty, and citrus flavors, encapsulating the essence of Albanian culinary tradition. While rich in taste and tradition, they are best enjoyed in moderation due to their sugar and calorie content. Whether for a special occasion or a sweet treat, these cookies are sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl visiting my aunt in Albania. My aunt was a wonderful cook, and she always had a new recipe up her sleeve to share with me. On this particular visit, she introduced me to the delicious world of Albanian Date Cookies.

I remember the warm kitchen, filled with the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg. My aunt stood at the counter, her hands busy mixing together the ingredients for the cookies. She explained to me that these cookies were a traditional Albanian treat, often made during special occasions and holidays.

As she worked, my aunt told me the story of how she had learned to make these cookies from her own grandmother, who had learned it from her mother before her. The recipe had been passed down through generations, each woman adding her own special touch to make it her own.

I watched intently as my aunt rolled out the dough and carefully placed a dollop of sweet date filling in the center of each cookie. She showed me how to fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges together to create a little pocket of goodness.

After the cookies were baked to perfection, my aunt let me taste one while it was still warm from the oven. The flavors exploded in my mouth – the sweetness of the dates, the warmth of the spices, and the buttery richness of the dough. I was in heaven.

From that moment on, I was determined to learn how to make Albanian Date Cookies myself. I begged my aunt to teach me the recipe, and she was more than happy to pass on her knowledge to me.

Over the years, I have made these cookies countless times, each batch turning out better than the last. I have shared them with friends and family, who always rave about how delicious they are. They have become a staple at holiday gatherings and special occasions, a reminder of my time in Albania and the traditions that have been passed down to me.

As I sit here now, surrounded by the familiar sights and sounds of my own kitchen, I can't help but feel grateful for the gift of this recipe. It has brought me joy and comfort over the years, connecting me to my past and the strong women who came before me.

And so, I will continue to make Albanian Date Cookies for as long as I am able, sharing the love and tradition with those around me. Who knows, maybe one day I will pass on the recipe to a young girl, just like my aunt did for me all those years ago. And so the tradition will continue, linking us all together in a sweet and delicious chain of memories and flavors.


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