Make ahead cookie dough and bake the next day. The buttery cookie is soft and chocked full of bits of dates and walnuts. Make the cookie dough the day before and roll into 6 inch logs. Refrigerate over night to slice and bake the next day. This cookie recipe was popular after WWII and calls for half shortening and half butter. Shortening was used extensively in baking during the mid century. Today butter is used for most cookie baking.
It is an easy to cookie to make. I chopped the dates in my food processor with a 1/2 cup of flour from the recipe. But you can buy them already chopped or chop by hand. Walnuts can also be purchased chopped but are easy to chop up yourself. Beating the shortening , butter and egg until light and fluffy is important because you are beating air into the mixture that will expand while baking. When baking you bake them until light brown around the edges when you lift the cookie. You don’t want to over bake them or they will become too crisp.
Icebox Date Nut Cookies
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup finely chopped dates
Beat shortening, butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Continue beating for 30 seconds. In a separate bowl mix sift flour with salt and baking soda. On slow speed mix half of flour mixer until blended. Change to dough hook or stir by hand the rest of the flour. Stir in or add to mixer nuts and dates.
Turn out on a lightly floured surface and roll into 4 logs that are 6 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper. Stand up in glasses so they stay round. Refrigerate over night.
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or grease cookie sheets.
Unwrap cookie roll one at a time and leave others in refrigerator until slicing. Being very cold will help the cookies to puff. Slice cookies 1/2 inch thick working quickly. Place on prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Don’t over cook or cookies will be crisp. Leave on baking sheet for a few minutes so they don’t fall apart while lifting with a spatula. Remove to a write rack to cool. Store in air tight container. Will keep up to 2 weeks.