Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Old Fashioned Date Filled Cookies

At the beginning of the month, this gorgeous lady turned eighty-nine years young....

This is Carl's grandmother, Elizabeth, and she is quite possibly one of the sweetest ladies known to mankind.  I was first introduced to her cooking a little over 7 years ago when Carl and I first started dating. The very first recipe of hers I tried were these delicious date filled cookies.

I know what you're thinking - DATES?! BLEH.  I said the same thing at first... that was until I bit into one of these delicious morsels and life has never been the same since.  In the past few years, Carl's grandmother has handed over her recipes to the family and cut back on her cooking.  A few years ago, she re-located to an assisted living facility and sadly, had to give up her kitchen.  Before our last visit to New Hampshire, I asked her if she wanted to assist me in making these cookies and she was all for it.  She was quick to let me know that assisting really meant "watching" or in other words - bossing me around... but I really wouldn't have it any other way.  She was dressed to the nines when I picked her up and even called a few hours before wondering when I was going to come pick her up.  We had a wonderful day and being able to "cook" with her really warmed my heart.  This was definitely a great memory I'll have with her for many years to come. 

Grandmother's Old Fashioned Date Filled Cookies

Makes just over 2 dozen 4-inch round cookies


1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup shortening
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine dry ingredients in bowl.  Cut in shortening.  Add wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Roll dough out on a floured surface.

Cut circles and place on cookie sheet.  Add filling [recipe below] to center of cookie.

Place additional cookie circle (see note) on top of cookie + filling and gently press around edges.

NOTE:  Cut a small slit in the middle of the cookie circle BEFORE placing it on the other cookie with jam.

Cook in a 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes.


1/2 lb dates, cut up
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pot.  Cook mixture on medium heat until it starts to thicken.   The filling should be close to jam consistency (not watery) when done.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Doesn't Grandma's touch just make everything taste better?

Do you have a prized recipe that your Grandma used to make/makes?   

If so, please leave a comment below - I would love to hear them!
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  1. Looks like fun! I am partial to Grandmother's grinders.

    1. My Mom used to make these every holiday. It was one of our family traditions. Now that my Mom is gone I treasure those moments in time even more.

  2. I'll second Nicoles comment. These cookies really are the best! Although the grinders are great there are a few other recipes besides these cookies that beat the grinders:

    - Strawberry Shortcake
    - Chicken and Biscuits
    - Grape Nut Custard
    - Governors Casserole

  3. Thank you for posting this recipe, with pictures. Growing up my mother use to make these for us at Christmas time. I've wanted this for some time now. They are soooooooo good. Thank you.

  4. Thanks soooo much for posting this...I have been searching forever for my Family Recipe, and this sounds pretty close!♥

  5. I remember Date filled cookies from the Quality Bakery in good ole Ann Arbor, MI - hated to see them close~~~
    going to make some myself - nothing better than homemade


  6. Thank you Nicole for posting this recipe. My mother was famous for these in her Christmas cookie collection. She passed last year from cancer. I miss so many things about her but these cookies will bring a little bit of her spirit to our Christmas. Happy holidays.

  7. I love date cookies! I made these today and they remind me so much of the cookies that my grandma used to make for my family. I ended up using a lot more flour in the dough - I'm not sure why but mine was too sticky after following the measurements. I would also caution future bakers to cut your dates small! I only cut my dates in four pieces and they simply wouldn't break down. I ended up pureeing them in a food processor in the end (which is a good back up plan, if you need one like I did). They turned out wonderfully!

  8. Fantastic recipe! You're a blessed woman to have that lady in your life. Cherish her and her wisdom

  9. I am so excited to find your post! A lady in my bridge group brought in a similar partial recipe from her family that she wanted to bake but since it wasn't complete on the instructions she asked me to help her figure it out since I bake often. Your grandmother's recipe is almost identical and I will print out the whole story to take to her next week as well as the recipe. She will be so thrilled!!!! Thank you.

  10. my mom made these cookies over the holidays now she is not able to make them so I make them every year. make sure she always get some. this is a great cookie love them.

  11. I just made my date filling,which I cut up dates and put them in a pan, with a bit of water and a cup of sugar. I cut a lemon in half and squeezed some in my date mixture also. Gives it a twist. I was looking for a recipe to put the date mixture in, so I'm going to make this and going to rub the date mixture all over the cookie mixture by rolling it out and spreading dates, then roll up and put in wax paper, and chill , then cut into half inch cookies and bake. By the way I put pecans in processor and chopped up fine and put that in date mixture also. Enjoy your Gramma, I loved mine. Thank you so much for recipe of cookie part.. Bev Brzozowski

  12. Can u tell me if this is all purpose flour or self- rising flour

  13. Thank you Nicole. It's many years since you posted but tonight I needed to make my great aunt's date-filled sugar cookies and I found your and Elizabeth's recipe. This was a beautiful story. Terry


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