Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Date Filled Cookies, ZCMI Style

This is not the official recipe, but I've put together a pretty close duplicate to the date-filled cookies we used to buy after shopping at ZCMI (somehow that third cookie we'd buy for dad would never make it home). Eating these took me right back to my teenage days in the 80's where I'd stalk my then-boyfriend who had a job in the giftwrap dept.
I remember that the date-filled cookies were a little darker from the brown sugar and ground pecans in the dough, as opposed to the raisin-filled, which I think were made from a white sugar cookie dough. The dough is flavorful on its own, and would make a nice sugar cookie, especially with the addition of the ground pecans. The date filling is just right - just remember to use fresh dates and not the dry, sugared, chopped ones.
Date Filled Cookies
2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter, room temp
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 lg. eggs, room temp
1/4 c. buttermilk (or reg. milk, or sour cream I suppose would work), room temp
1/2 c. or so ground pecans (to taste)
3 3/4 to 4 1/2 c. flour
(Note: start with the lesser amount and add more until the dough reaches a "sugar cookie dough" consistency: not exceedingly soft but not too stiff either. Better to err on the softer side, as the dough will firm up in the fridge and result in a softer cookie.)

1 1/2 c. (8 oz.) dates, chopped into small pieces
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
1/8 t. salt
2 t. lemon juice

For the dough: cream together sugar, shortening, butter, baking soda, salt, and vanilla until smooth and light. Beat in the eggs, add buttermilk, then stir in the flour and pecans by hand. Cover bowl and chill at least one hour.

For the filling: in a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the dates, sugar, water, salt, and lemon juie gently for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently until thick. If necessary, add a little more water.
Preheat the oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a floured surface, roll out the half the dough and cut into rounds. I used a 2 3/4" round, but for more "bakery sized" cookies, use a 3 or 4-inch round. Place heaping teaspoon of date filling in the center of the rounds, and top the cookies with another round of dough, pressing lightly around the edges. (Note: if you used alot of flour to roll out the dough, or if your dough is very stiff, you may need to moisten the edges of the round with water before topping the dough.)

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they're a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool.


Carrie said...

OH man, now your google searches for "ZCMI" cookies are going to explode. :)
I remember my Grandma Clark used to always make the raisin filled cookies. Right when I saw your opening picture it took me back to my childhood! Good stuff!

cathy said...

Yes, we can't get away from our history:
“So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Electrawoman said...

my dad loved them they reminded him of the raison filled cookies his grandmother used to make they are realy yummy

Electrawoman said...

I used to go stalking with my friends all the time that is so awesome