Date cookies filled with walnuts and dates make an authentic traditional dessert in the Arabic world, especially in Turkey and the countries of the Middle East.
For the dough
- 3/4 cup of butter
- 2 cups of dark brown sugar
- 3 piece large, beaten eggs
- 4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the Date filling
- 3 1/2 cups of chopped dates
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3 cups chopped walnuts
- Start by creaming the butter and the brown sugar all together; then beat in the eggs and the vanilla
- Add all your dry ingredients and mix very well until they are completely incorporated.
- Divide your dough into half; then place each half of the dough into a gallon zip-top bag and press it down flat; then refrigerate for about 1 hour.
- In the meantime; make the dates filling and to do that; place the dates; the water; the sugar and the salt in a medium pan over a medium high heat and bring to a boil
- Lower the heat and let the jam boil for about 10 to 15 minutes; then remove from the heat and stir in the chopped walnuts and set it aside to cool
- When the dough is fully chilled, roll each half out into a rectangle of about ¼ inch of thickness so that each rectangle is about 9x12 over a sheet of parchment paper
- Spread one half of the prepared cooled dates jam across each of the cut rectangles of the cookie dough and make sure to spread to the edges.
- Working from the long edge, use the prepared parchment paper to roll the dough and the filling into the shape of a log.
- Start working from the long edge; then tuck the dough into the prepared jam; keep rolling and tuck in as your roll the log
- The roll with have a swirl of dough in the end right at the centre; the final form will be that of a pinwheel
- Wrap the logs and let them chill for about 6 hours
- When you are ready to bake; cut the logs into slices of about 1/3”; then place over a cookie sheet leaving at least about 2 inches between each two
- Bake at a temperature of 400° for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack
- Serve and enjoy your cookies!