Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cookie Exchange #2 - Date Swirl Cookies

Dates aren't something I work with commonly, so I automatically think of them as Christmassy and old-fashioned, which is what these slice and bake cookies promised to be. They are quite tasty, and with their pretty swirl and unique flavor, they do show that you fussed over them in the kitchen. That's the main drawback, they are fussy, for sure. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to make them unless I had a date-lover in the family. Baker be warned: I had to fiddle with the dough quite a lot in order to get it to a consistency that I could roll it into a rectangle. It was way too crumbly at first, so I flicked some water onto it, interspersed with a light dusting of flour, several times, kneading in between, until I got the dough just to the point that I could roll it out. It did not affect the taste or look of the recipe, but, if you run into the same situation, always make sure you add just tiny amounts of additional water and flour, because you can always add more if it's not enough, but you can't remove too much!

Date Swirl Cookies1 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup water
1/4 chopped walnuts
pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

In a saucepan, combine dates, 1/4 cup sugar, water, nuts, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick (between 5-10 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl beat butter, brown sugar, egg, and remaining sugar. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture. Chill for 30 minutes.

Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thick rectangle (this is where I had problems with the too-crumbly texture of the dough and had to modify it a bit with extra water and flour). Spread with date mixture; roll up jelly roll style starting from the long end. Wrap with waxed paper. Chill for at least 4 hours.

Remove waxed paper, cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices and place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Yield: 35 to 40 cookies

If you try this recipe, please post and let me know what you think of it - did you have the same problems with the too crumbly dough or is it just my super dry climate?


Amanda said...

I'm not a date lover myself, but these look and sound really yummy. I love reading about your cooking posts, it inspires me to do more in the kitchen :-).