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Date Swirl Cookies
A Favorite Cookie
I have been making wonderful date swirl cookies for at least 20 years. I took my first bite of these delicious cookies 20 some years ago, the first Christmas I spent with my new in-laws. Since then they have become a holiday tradition in my home. They aren’t a favorite of my husband, but I certainly enjoy a dozen or two each holiday season! This year make these delicious cookies and start a new holiday tradition in your house.
With a history stretching back over 5,000 years, this venerable fruit grows in thick clusters on the giant date palm. Native to the Middle East, the name is thought to come from the Greek daktulos, meaning “finger” after the shape of the fruit. Dates require a hot, dry climate and besides Africa and the Middle East, dates flourish in California and Arizona. Most varieties range from 1 to 2 inches and are oval in shape.
More About Dates
All dates have a single, long narrow seed. The skin is thin and papery, the flesh sweet. Dates are green when unripe and turn yellow, golden brown, black, red or mahogany red, depending on the variety, as they ripen. Fresh dates are available in some specialty stores from late summer through mid-fall. Dried dates can be found year-round and are sold in packages, pitted and un-pitted. Dates are a good source of protein and iron. For more information on California dates, check out: California Fruit Depot
- 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a saucepan, combine dates, 1/4 cup sugar, water, brandy, nuts, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a mixing bowl beat butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract and remaining sugar. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Gradually stir into butter mixture. Chill for 30 minutes.
Knead dough lightly for 5 minutes, roll dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thick rectangle, spread with cooled date mixture, roll up jelly-roll style starting at a long end. Wrap with saran wrap. Chill for at least 4 hours. Remove saran wrap, cut log into 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch slices, place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake at 375º degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Yield: about 4 dozen.