From the book: Christmas In Dairyland (True Stories From a Wisconsin Farm)
When I was a kid growing up on our dairy farm in Wisconsin 40 years ago, cookies with a date filling were my dad’s favorite kind. Here is the recipe.
3/4 cup butter or margarine (softened)
3/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
several tablespoons of milk if the dough seems too dry
Jam: blackberry, black raspberry, strawberry, red raspberry, plum conserve, apple conserve, or date filling (recipes for plum and apple conserve and date filling are included below.)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, margarine, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. If the dough is too dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk. If the dough seems too wet, add 1/4 or 1/2 cup of flour.
Roll out dough. Use either a small round cookie cutter or one large round cutter. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Put one teaspoon of jam (or other filling) in the middle of the smaller rounds or off to one side of the larger rounds. Place another small round on top of the small rounds; fold the larger rounds in half. Use a fork to crimp the edges together and to poke holes in the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until light brown.
This recipe makes about six dozen filled cookies.
The recipe can also be used to make cut-out Christmas cookies frosted with colored icing.
~ Plum Conserve ~
If plum conserve is made specifically for filling cookies, store any that remains in the refrigerator and use on toast or biscuits. The conserve can also be sealed in pint jars. (This recipe makes about three pints.)
8 to 10 fresh, large, ripe plums
1/2 cup of water
4 cups of sugar
2 cups of raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Pit the plums and chop into small pieces. Place in a large saucepan and add the sugar and water. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice, raisins and walnuts and cook for 10 minutes longer, stirring constantly. (Note: Recipe can also be made using 3 cups of chopped apples instead of plums. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.)
~ Date Filling ~
3 cups chopped dates
1/2 cup sugar
1 2/3 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Put all ingredients into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (10 or 15 minutes).