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Blog Date Filled Cookies

Blog Date Filled Cookies

By itself, a cookie is just a snack, but when used as a tender crust around a sweet fruit puree, a cookie (or really, a pair of cookies) becomes a dessert you could serve as the finale to a dinner for company. Many kinds of fruits could be used for the filling in such a cookie/tart, but one of the quickest, easiest and most delicious is a date filling. Just buy a bag of pitted dates (no peeling or chopping required), simmer them in water and a little sugar, and puree them to a thick paste. Choose a simple cookie shape without too many "skinny" parts (a heart will be easier to fill than a horse), fill, and bake, and dessert is finished—now you can concentrate on the main course.

Although there are dozens of date varieties, the two you'll see most often in the supermarket are deglet noor, which are firm golden brown dates with a papery skin, and medjool, which are dark brown and soft, with wrinkled skin. For snacking, I prefer medjool dates but for baking, the less-expensive deglet noors do the job just as well.

My favorite shapes for Date-Filled Cookies are the Seashell cookie cutter, the Frog cookie cutter, and the Heart cookie cutter.