Date Nut Spice Cookies
1 pound pitted dates
2 1/4 cups walnuts
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut aluminum foil to line cookie sheets and line
sheets, shiny side up.
Use scissors to cut dates into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. Break
walnuts into medium pieces and set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar
and beat to mix. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
In a small cup dissolve the baking soda in the water and beat into the dough.
On low speed add the dates and beat until mixed. Then on low speed, gradually
beat in the sifted dry ingredients. Stir in the walnuts.
Place a large piece of aluminum foil alongside the sink. Use two kitchen
tablespoons for dividing the dough, one for picking up with and one for pushing
off with. Form about forty mounds of the dough, each one a heaping
tablespoonful, and place them any which way on the foil. They can be right next
to each other.
Place a lined cookie sheet close to you. Wet your hands under cold running
water, pick up a mound of the dough, roll it between your wet hands into a round
shape and the flatten it between your hands to 1/2 inch thickness (each cookie
should be about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter). Place it on the lined cookie
sheet. Now the cookies should be placed about 2 inches apart (about eight
cookies per sheet). Your hands must be held under the cold running water before
shaping each cookie.
Bake two sheets at a time, reversing them top to bottom and front to back once
or twice during baking to insure even browning. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until
the cookies are golden brown all over and spring back when gently pressed with a
fingertip. Do not under bake.
Use a wide metal spatula to remove the cookies, and transfer them to racks to
Continue to shape and bake all of the cookies.
When cool, store in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers.
Store at room temperature or freeze.
Yield: about 40 cookies.