Dates, where have you been all my life! Not the dinner-and-a-movie kind of dates (though I could use a few more of those too *coughMattcough*) but the chewy, naturally sweet, wrinkly little fruit kind of dates. I’ve seen them all over the internet lately as a sticky but sweet filling, or a healthy alternative for sugar. I finally gave in and tried my hand at making some sticky, sweet filling (maybe I’ll try the healthy route some other day) and it was even more satisfying than I thought it would be!
The filling tastes like a cross between a fig bar and a sticky Caramilk, sandwiched in between two spiced oatmeal cookies. One bite and I guarantee you’ll go mmmmmm.
Having never worked with dates before I was a little skeptical. I mean they not the most attractive looking fruit; they look like little wrinkly prunes. Or raisins. And I’m not a huge fan or raisins (unless they’re packed in a loaf of cinnamon bread or covered in chocolate). But every person I talk to raves about the suckers.
So I took them out of the bag and chopped them up in the tiniest little pieces I could muster. I don’t have a food processor (a food blogger’s crime) but something like a Magic Bullet would be perfect for the task. Anyway. I took them out of the bag, chopped them up, boiled them with some sugar and water, and it was like magic. The clumpy date pieces broke down into a wonderful, jelly-like paste.
I know for sure that I’ll be experimenting more with dates in the future, but for now the best way I can think to eat them is squished between two spiced oatmeal cookies. Crunchy, soft, chewy and sweet. And they’re insanely good warmed up in the microwave with a scoop of ice cream on top. I put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on most of my baked goods, but this ones take the cake.
Or takes the cookie.
- Oatmeal Cookies:
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 3 cups quick oats
- Date Filling:
- 2 cups dates, chopped
- ¾ cups sugar
- ¾ cups water
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, white sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, then vanilla, mixing thoroughly.
- In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- Stir dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Stir in oats. Cover dough and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375° while dough is chilling.
- Roll dough into teaspoon-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Use a fork to flatten balls slightly.
- Bake 8 minutes until browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
- To make filling: combine dates, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until a thick paste forms. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Spread filling between two cookies and serve.