I'm not sure what came over me this Christmas, but I actually felt like baking. I made several kinds of cookies -- a fact which I've now come to regret since I'm having trouble staying away from them!
I especially like Date Pecan Cookies, which are not specifically a Christmas cookie but work well with other kinds of holiday treats. I recently found two bags of dates in the freezer and, although they keep forever when frozen, I needed to use them up because I know my dad will bring me more when he returns from wintering in Arizona! So I made a batch of these cookies and sent most of them home with him. Trust me: They are very hard to resist!
The worst part about working with dates is dealing with their extreme stickiness. You'll need to remove the pits and chop them with a sharp knife while they're still frozen.
Date Pecan Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Combine the water and dates; stir into the dough along with the chopped pecans. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
This is what the batter looks like. I LOVE my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I'm not sure how I could function in the kitchen without it! It's perfect for recipes like this.
And here are a few of the cookies cooling on a rack. Oh, look -- it appears that a couple of them are missing! These cookies have a tendency to disappear!