Date Nut Swirl Cookies

– Submitted by Christine Stoll

I have been blessed to have had a kindred spirit for a mother-in-law. We enjoyed many of the same passions in our lives. First and foremost was our passion for cooking delicious meals, baking bread, and making yummy desserts! We enjoyed hours and hours of making meals together, pouring over cookbooks and recipes, and of course sharing them, including this one. 

When the Operation Cookie Drop contest was announced, our daughter immediately suggested I enter and make Grandma’s Date Nut Swirl Cookies.  They’re a favorite of our family, especially my husband, who penned the following:

Mom’s Date Nut Swirl Cookies

I rode a bus off to college, in early September, 1967.  It was the first time I’d ever ridden on a commercial bus, and the school was more than 500 miles from home.  The first week there, I was as lonely and homesick as I’d ever felt.  I’ve always been a shy introvert, and was not having much luck meeting or making any new friends.

As luck would have it, my birthday is September 28th, and that day in the mail, which arrived just before noon, came a package addressed to me.  It was the first mail I had received from anyone, and I recognized my mother’s careful printing on the brown wrapping paper.  Inside was a fruitcake tin, and it was stuffed with about two dozen of my favorite cookies.  These were the ones she always would make during the holidays.  Opening that package just made my eyes water up, and after I’d recovered a bit I decided to start down the hallway, knocking on the dorm room doors in our wing.  I handed out cookies, and I started to become very popular.

Thank you mom.  These are still the best I’ve ever had.  And they always make me think of you!

Recipe

Cookie:

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1 egg

2 cups all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

Date Nut Filling:

½ pound pitted dates, cut in fourths

⅓ cup water

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup chopped walnuts

Method

Date Filling:

Cook dates, water & sugar until thick, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add nuts.  Cool before spreading.

Cookies:

  • Cream butter with sugars; beat till light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat well.
  • Sift flour, salt and soda and add to creamed sugar mixture.  Mix well.
  • Toss on a floured surface and knead till smooth.  Roll out ¼” thick into a rectangle.
  • Spread with date filling (see above) and roll long side as for jelly roll.
  • Refrigerate overnight.  When ready to bake, slice in ¼” thick slices and place on parchment paper on cookie sheet.
  • Bake 10 minutes.

Julia Baker