Date-Filled Cookies, GF

One of the best Christmas presents I ever got was a cookbook that my Grandma L made for each of her grandchildren containing all of her recipes.  It is such a treasure.  I especially like how she would write comments in them, or telling the story about the recipe. 

I was looking through all of the recipes the other day and came across this recipe for Date-Filled Cookies.  The part that grabbed my attention was what she wrote after.

“This is one recipe that Papa always took with him when they went on their annual Elk/Deer hunting trip. They stay very moist. If you like dates (the kind you eat), you will like this cookie.”

This gets me not only because of the comment about specifying the type of date she was referring to, but I also like the mention of Papa.  Because he passed away when I was barely 4, I never really knew him, nor do I have any real memories of him.  So with this recipe, I saw an opportunity, in a very small way, to connect to him. 

Date-Filled Cookies, Gluten-free
Yields 36
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  1. 10 ounces pitted dates, chopped fine
  2. 3/4 cup water
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. 1-1/4 cup sorghum flour
  2. 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  3. 3/4 cup tapioca starch
  4. 1 cup potato starch
  5. 1-1/2 teaspoons xanthum gum
  6. 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 cup shortening (non-hydrogenated if possible)
  9. 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  10. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  11. 6 tablespoons warm water mixed with 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  12. 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  1. Place dates, water, and sugar in a small pot. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest and cinnamon. Set aside to cool (I wanted a smoother texture, so I used a stick blender to smooth it out).
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, starches, xanthum gum, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Mix in vanilla extract, flax seed mixture, and orange zest. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/4" thick. Cut into 2 inch rounds. Place a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of filling in center of one round. spread filling to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top with another round and use a fork to crimp the edges. Cook in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until edges are set. Cool on pan for a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.
One Fine Tomato
I did change the recipe a little bit (other than the obvious to make it gluten-free).  I used less sugar (if you can believe it), and did away with the eggs.  I also changed the recipe by adding some orange zest and cinnamon.  I wonder what my Papa would’ve thought of these.

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