I definitely had my doubts about these cookies. First, they're filled with dates, which - although my family seems to adore them - just aren't my favorite thing. Second, when you bake them, they have this cute little trick that they do by looking like the tops are raw dough and the bottoms are scorching. However: fear not. Yes, they're filled with dates, but they happen to be exquisite. And yes the bottoms turn much darker than the tops, but they don't taste burned at all (and on further inspection of the original recipe's photographs, her cookies looked the same way). As a person who is not a fan of either cookies or dates, it should really mean something to you when I tell you that I have found myself sneaking back into the kitchen to cut pieces off these rather large and delicious date cookies.
Really they're more like dumplings. The recipe calls for them to be made into 4-inch rounds, but I would make them smaller next time. They were huge and only made 9 cookies altogether, since you have to roll out the dough and cut pieces to be used as tops and bottoms. Then you make a quick sort of date jam by heating some chopped dates up with some water and sugar, plop dollops of it onto the bottom cookie, top it with the top cookie, and bake. Again - don't panic if the bottoms look like they are burning - they aren't. But don't wait for the tops to turn dark either, because they don't. Just keep checking on them.
|NOT burned... just stressful :)|
The cookies are soft and crumbly, almost like a sweeter version of a pie crust. The date filling is sweet and thick, and makes me consider perhaps changing my mind about hating dates (however, part of me thinks: what if we filled the cookies with strawberry or raspberry jam?! Even better!). And my mom is in love with them - which is good, because she is the one who pinned this recipe, and begged for them for a while. She insisted that we can always trust recipes that are from someone's grandmother, because those are tried and tested! I guess she is right in this case!
old fashioned date filled cookies
from Baking it on My Own
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup shortening
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 pound dates, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1) Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in shortening. Add wet ingredients and mix until well-combined.
2) Roll dough out onto a floured surface. Cut out circles and place on cookie sheet.
3) Make filling: mix all ingredients in a small sauce pot. Cook mixture on medium heat until it starts to thicken. The filling should be close to jam consistency - not watery - when done.
4) Add filling to center of cookie. Place additional cookie circle on top of cookie and filling, and gently press around the edges. Cut a small slit in the middle of each cookie.
5) Cook in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.