Date Icebox Cookies
Makes: approx 4 1/2 dozen cookies (depending on thickness of cookies)
2 cups/270 grams/9.5 ounces unbleached, all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup/112 grams/4 ounces butter
1/2 cup/110 grams/3.9 ounces light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar/100 grams/3.5 ounces
1 large egg, beaten
228 grams/8 ounces chopped dates (about 2 cups whole dates)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup toasted, and finely chopped walnuts
-Sift twice together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
-In a small sauce pan, combine dates and sugars and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes (the mixture will look like a thick jam when done). If your dates are very dry and the mixture looks more like a paste, add water 1 teaspoon at a time to loosen the mixture slightly.
-Remove the date mixture from heat and cool completely.
-When date mixture is completely cool, use a spatula and fold in 1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped walnuts and set aside.
-In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until lightened in texture and color. Add the beaten egg and beat the mixture again until the egg is thoroughly incorporated.
-Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
-Turn out the dough on a floured silpat or suitable work surface (sometimes I use wax paper), gently shape it into a rectangle with your hands and then with a rolling pin roll it about 1/4" thick in the shape of a rectangle.
-Spread the cooled, cooked date/walnut mixture on it evenly (I use a small offset spatula but a butter knife will work just as well) and then using both your hands, gently roll it lengthwise into a log.
Wrap the log in plastic wrap and chill overnight or at least 8 hours.
-To bake off the cookies, line 3 sheet pans with parchment, preheat oven to 375°, unwrap log and using a serrated knife cut the log in 1/4" (you can go a bit thicker if you like, but if you go thinner they are likely to fall apart as you transfer them to the sheet pans) cookies and place them on a parchment lined sheet pan.
-Bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until light brown in color and slightly puffed.