Date and Almond Butter Crescent Cookies


Recipe excerpt from BAKE SMART by Samantha Seneviratne. Copyright © 2023 by Samantha Seneviratne. Used with permission by Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved. Photography © Johnny Miller.

Did you know that you can swap in cottage cheese for yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk in your favorite cakes and pancakes? Its acidity works with the leavener in the recipe to create loft and its fat creates a moist crumb. For these flaky rolled cookies, I work cottage cheese along with butter into the dough to make a super-tender and pliable pastry.



16 tablespoons (2 sticks; 226 grams) butter, at room temperature

1 cup (225 grams) full-fat cottage cheese, at room temperature

Note: Look for cottage cheese without added gums and stabilizers.

2 cups (272 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

½ teaspoon kosher salt


6 ounces (175 grams) pitted dates (about 10), chopped

Note: Don’t waste money on fancy Medjool dates for this recipe. Our “Grinders” are perfect for this:

¼ cup (64 grams) almond butter

2 tablespoons (25 grams) light or dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons (39 grams) maple syrup

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of kosher salt


1 large (50 grams) egg, beaten

Sanding sugar for sprinkling



  • In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and cottage cheese together until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the flour and salt and beat just until combined.
  • Tip the dough out and divide it into 4 equal portions. (You will still be able to see some cottage cheese curds; that’s OK!)
  • Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days.


  • Put the dates in a small bowl, pour enough boiling water over them to cover completely, and let them soak at room temperature for 10 minutes.
    • Note: Don’t skip the soaking step. It’s important to reintroduce enough moisture into the dried fruit to ensure it doesn’t rob moisture from the cookie itself. That goes for other recipes too!
  • Remove the dates from the water and transfer to a food processor.
  • Add the almond butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and process until smooth.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a floured surface, roll one disk of dough out into a 9½ -inch circle.
  • Use a 9-inch plate to trim the dough to a perfect circle.
  • Spread one quarter of the filling over the dough.
  • Cut it into 12 equal triangles.
  • Starting from the outer edge of each triangle, roll the cookies up into crescents.
  • Carefully transfer them to one of the prepared baking sheets.
  • Repeat with a second disk of dough and use the second baking sheet. (If at any point your dough gets too warm, transfer it to a baking sheet and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes.)
  • Carefully brush each crescent with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  • Bake the cookies for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they are set and golden brown, rotating the sheets halfway through.
  • Transfer the pans to racks to cool completely.
  • Once the baking sheets are cool, transfer the cookies to a separate rack and repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

Shop Samantha’s new book “Bake Smart” here: BOOK — SAMANTHA SENEVIRATNE

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