Date Balls

2013-12-24
You can see the ball of filling flattened during baking.
  • Yield : 24
  • Servings : 24
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 8m
  • Ready In : 6:0 h

The cookie of my husband’s childhood Christmas memories, date balls. The dates are cooked with other ingredients to make a jamlike filling. The refrigerator cookies are cut, dabbed with filling, then topped with another slice of cookie. The edges are pinched together¬†then baked. After cooling, each cookie is iced in a simple white icing.

Simply dates, sugar, water in the filling plus a pinch of cinnamon.

Simply dates, sugar, water in the filling plus a pinch of cinnamon.

 

The mixture becomes jamlike.

The mixture becomes jamlike.

 

chilled cookie dough

 

 

Lay the other cookie on top and press the edges together all the way up to the filling to eliminate air pockets and the chance of the cookie blowing apart.

Lay the other cookie on top and press the edges together all the way up to the filling to eliminate air pockets and the chance of the cookie blowing apart.

Lay the other cookie on top and press the edges together all the way up to the filling to eliminate air pockets and the chance of the cookie blowing apart.

Lay the other cookie on top and press the edges together all the way up to the filling to eliminate air pockets and the chance of the cookie blowing apart.

Forming the filling into a ball makes it easy to press the edges together.

Forming the filling into a ball makes it easy to press the edges together.

 

Notice the pressed design? It poofed away when it went in the oven.

Notice the pressed design? It poofed away when it went in the oven.

 

The baked cookies looks plain Jane. A coating of icing will take care of that.

The baked cookies looks plain Jane. A coating of icing will take care of that.

 

This is about as dark as it should be.

This is about as dark as it should be.

 

After icing the clunky little cookie looks shiny and inviting.

After icing the clunky little cookie looks shiny and inviting.

 

Where's the milk?

Where’s the milk?

 

Notice there's really not that much cookie even though the cookie appears clunky from the outside.

Notice there’s really not that much cookie even though the cookie appears clunky from the outside.

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Filling: 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Icing: 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TB water

Method

Step 1

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together shortening, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix in egg until a smooth batter forms.

Step 2

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients in 3 additions.

Step 3

Dump dough onto a length of plastic wrap. Form into a log and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make the filling by combining dates, sugar, water, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until all of the water is evaporated and mixture resembles jam, about 10 minutes. Rapid cool by spreading onto a plastic cutting board and placing in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Step 5

Using a thin sharp knife, cut cookie log into 48 1/8" cookies. Place half of the cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Step 6

Top each with a 1/2 tsp of date filling that has been rolled into a ball shape.

Step 7

Top each cookie with the remaining cookies. Press the edges to seal; pressing up to the date filling. Don't bother with crimping the edges with a fork. The baking soda puffs the cookie and the imprints disappear.

Step 8

Bake for 8 minutes or until edges just start to color. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack. Once cookies are cool, ice each one. Make the icing by stirring together powdered sugar and water.

Step 9

Store in a covered container at room temperature.

 

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