We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cookie Recipe #204 - Date Sandwich Cookies

This is a soft molasses-type cookie sandwich with a filling of sweetened dates. Use any cookie cutter for the shape you desire. There is no refrigerator dough-chilling time with this recipe, so they can be made immediately.

Ingredients: 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 egg, 1/3 cup molasses, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup boiling water, 4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 cups chopped dates, 1/2 cup boiling water, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, pinch of salt, raw or granulated sugar for sprinkling.

Instructions: Put teakettle on to boil water (or small saucepan). In a small saucepan, combine chopped dates, 1/2 cup boiling water, and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil and let simmer 3 minutes; remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. In another bowl, beat egg with molasses, vanilla, and then 1/4 cup of boiling water. Stir this mixture into the first.

Sift together flour and baking soda; add to batter and mix well.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes and place half of the cookies on baking sheets. Spread date mixture evenly on each cookie, then top with other half of cookies. Sprinkle tops with sugar of choice.

Bake in preheated 325 degree oven 12-15 minutes or until cookies are set. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen sandwich cookies (depending on size of cookie cutter).

"The Ultimate Cookie Book", Tormont Publications Inc., Montreal, Canada, 1997.

Cookies Rule!!!

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