I found this beautifully written recipe in one of my Aunt Nettie’s Old cookbooks, Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking. The copyrights were 1947-1952. The recipe was penned by my aunt who lived to be 99 1/2 years old before she passed. Such a wonderful woman. She taught grade school most of her adult life which may account for her lovely penmanship. She was born on July 1, 1916 so as you imagine she saw many things change during her life. The picture of her was when she was probably in her late 80’s. I’ll be sharing many more of the recipes that she saved.
When I worked at a bakery this was one of my favorite cookies though this is not their recipe. Luckily, at this bakery, I could eat all I wanted and didn’t have to pay for the indulgence. Where this particular recipe comes from is a complete mystery since I’ve been making it for over 15 years. It’s probably been modified many times and I now guiltily claim it as mine. It’s a fun Holiday treat and packages well for gift baskets. I couldn’t resist posting this recipe so early since I’m going to a Christmas in July party next month. If I can find dates, which may be impossible, then this will be my contribution to the desert table. This is a rich buttery recipe with lots of chopped dates and nuts.
Combine dates, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in chopped walnuts. Let cool completely.
Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; gradually add brown sugar, beating well. Add eggs; beat well. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour, soda, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; add to creamed mixture, stirring well.
Divide dough into thirds. Roll each portion into a thin 12 – 15 inch square on separate sheets of parchment. To roll thin and avoid sticking, cover dough with a second sheet of parchment; press out dough to form a square shape and finish with rolling-pin over top of second sheet of parchment. Carefully, peel top piece of parchment away from dough; thinly spread the squared dough with one-third of reserved date mixture.
lifting up the edge of the lower parchment, gently peel of the long edge of the dough and roll up jelly roll fashion. Use a pastry knife to slide and roll the dough if necessary. You can use the lower piece of parchment to continue to form the jelly roll shape so as not to tear the dough. Use the same procedure with the remaining two portions of dough.
As formed, wrap each roll in the parchment, and chill overnight. If time is short, you can freeze the dough for a few hours to rapid chill. Remove parchment paper. Cut into 1/4-inch slices, and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cookie browns slightly around edges. If cookies do not brown, may need to increase oven temperature or increase butter next time made.
Prepare dough and chill overnight. Store baked cookies in airtight containers.
If you like the recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. 😀 I’ll try to give you more fun recipes.