Every year, I send in a little treat for Thatboy's office co-workers. Something he can pass around easily as a way to spread some holiday cheer. This year was no exception, and since we're Thathouse has turned into the "house of truffles" lately (we also sent in truffles to Thatbaby's preschool teachers), I made a batch of Earl Grey Truffles and sent them in.
When I was asking Thatboy for the best day to send him in with treats, he told me he'd like to bring them in on Tuesday, because that was the day that his department was having their Christmas Party. And oh, by the way, he needed to bring in cookies to the party too. Did I mention that he told me this on Sunday? 2 days before he needed to bring in the cookies?
I associate dates with the holidays, even though there isn't really anything especially winter-season about them. But sweet dates, a dessert on their own, seem to bear with them the idea of sugar-plums and holiday sweetness. It makes sense to create a kind of jam with them and tuck them into cookies. I'm sure the idea was partly inspired by Hamentaschen, a cookie associated with quite a different holiday, but everyone loves cookies with a sweet surprise inside, don't they? Thatboy's office certainly did!
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 lb butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups oatmeal
- Combine dates, sugar, and 1/2 cup water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook for about 15 minutes, until dates have "melted" into a jam.
- Cream the butter in an electric mixer.
- Add the brown sugar and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, and add this to the wet ingredients, beating well.
- Stir in the oatmeal. The mixture is going to be thick, so add water by the Tablespoon until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a workable dough-ball. Shape the dough into a flat disc and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Roll out dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Use a cookie or biscuit cutter to create 2-inch circles.
- Spread the date filling onto half of these circles. Place the other half of the circles on top, pinching around the edges to seal. Bake for 15 minutes.