My grandmother used to make these cookies every year, back when she still made cookies. Then my mom made them every year, until she passed the torch to me. I have done a little research, and I have never found another stuffed cookie recipe quite like this one. I don't know where it came from, so if anyone happens to read this blog, and you know the origin of this cookie, please let me know. It may be English, since Grandma's family is from England, but that's just a guess.
The first thing you will need to do is make the filling. It can be made on the same day or a day or two before you plan to make the cookies. Just keep it in the 'fridge until you're ready to use it.
Cook sugar, flour, raisins, dates, lemon juice, salt and water in a small saucepan until thick and bubbly. The filling with thicken upon standing, as well. I made this filling a day in advance, and forgot to take a picture of the process.
Next, mix up the dough. Nothing complicated. And no fancy ingredients. It's a very simple recipe, actually.
But here comes the
I use my handy dandy Do-Bord. Well-floured.
Roll about 1/8 inch thick.
And here's where the fun comes in. I don't know what is up with this dough, but it's horrid to work with. It's crumbly, but not dry, so adding more liquid doesn't help. Adding more flour makes it tough, and so defeats the purpose. I believe I mentioned in a prior post that I make three batches of everything at Christmas. I make one batch of these. (Take note of the spatula in the above photo. We'll refer to it later.)
Cut out the shapes you want. I used circles for demonstration purposes. Any shape will do, as long as it's got enough room in the center to add filling. A candle, for example, would not work. Mittens work nicely, as do rocking horses, boots, stockings, bells, stars, etc. But circles are easiest.
I have found that the best way to get the dough onto the cookie sheet, aside from rolling it on the sheet, which I can't do...and that's why I have a Do-Bord...is to use a sharp metal spatula to lift them. Then they're only slightly mangled when you put them on the cookie sheet.
Anyhoo, repeat until the cookie sheet is full. Then add about a teaspoon of filling to each cookie.
Go through the whole rolling ordeal again, and add tops to the cookies. No need to add water to the edges, or anything. They stick just fine. Just press down firmly to seal, or they'll leak in the oven.
Bake at 400 F for 6-8 minutes, or until the cookies are just starting to turn golden around the edges.
And there you have it. Grandma's Stuffed Cookies! I have found it necessary to refuse to tell people what they are stuffed with until AFTER they eat one. Because people generally love them. But they hear the word "dates" and they freak out. It's weird.
Because you can't get the recipe anywhere else, here it is! I hope I'm not violating any secret family code by posting this.
Grandma's Stuffed Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs flour
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dates
2 Tbs lemon juice
3/4 cup water
Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until thick. Cool.
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs milk
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cream shortening. Blend in sugar. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
Roll out 1/8 inch thick. Cut out two cookies and use about 1 tsp of filling (sandwich fashion). Press edges firmly to seal. Bake at 400 F for 6-8 minutes, or until edges just start to turn golden.
Well, that's all for now.