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Granny's Date-filled Biscuits recipe

Granny's Date-filled Biscuits recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Fruit
  • Exotic fruit
  • Dates

My dear granny used to make these biscuits when we were kids in Zimbabwe. They go very well with a cup of tea at 4 o'clock and I could never get enough of them :) This is quite a big recipe, but you can freeze half the dough and half the date filling and finish the biscuits at another time, they are just as good.

5 people made this


  • 1/2 kg flour
  • 1/2 kg cornflour
  • 1/2 kg butter or margarine
  • 1/2 kg fine, white sugar (castor)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 250g dried dates, remove pips/stones and chop finely or mince in food processor.
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of butter or margarine
  • Lemon juice, about a dessertspoon


  1. Cream the butter and the sugar together until you have a fine paste.
  2. Sieve all the dry ingredients into the creamed mix. Add the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla essence. A strong cake mixer will cope with this dough, but it becomes quite stiff.
  3. Knead the dough thoroughly by hand.
  4. Coat several baking trays with butter.
  5. Take a small pinch of dough, about a heaped teaspoonful, and roll into balls the size of a pigeon's egg.
  6. Place dough balls onto baking trays, leaving at least 2cm between each ball.
  7. Flatten the dough balls with a fork dipped in flour.
  8. Bake at 200 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until just starting to brown. They should increase in size up to 2/3 times and be pale in colour.
  9. DATE FILLING (prepare first and allow to cool)
  10. Boil all date filling ingredients together over a medium heat, until the consistency is thick and creamy.
  11. Allow to cool.
  12. Match up equal sizes and shapes of biscuits into pairs, spread about half a teaspoon of filling onto one half and press together until they stick.
  13. Store in an airtight container for up to one month.

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Combine ingredients for filling in saucepan. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until thickened. Cool.

After dough and filling are chilled, roll dough 1/4 inch thick on floured board. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter dipped in flour. Cut out cookies and place on lightly greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling on cookie circle, then top with another cookie circle. Press edges together with a fork and prick top of cookies to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Time will vary by thickness of cookies and amount of filling used so watch closely while baking..

Helen McKinney’s Famous Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches 2016

These very easy to make old Canadian Farm Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches seemed too plain and rustic for my Christmas Cookie Platter, yet mom has always had them on hers, year after year after year. I never made them as I really didn&rsquot enjoy them. Until last year.

What changed? My palate is maturing. The simple buttery caramelized crisp oatmeal cookie sandwiching the bright citrus scented rich date filling is substantial, satisfying, reminiscent of home and suddenly, mighty tasty. Also, Ragan asked for me to include them on my cookie baking list for this year, as she loves them. How do you dress up a plain brown bag for a party? A little sparkle. And, not just any sparkle: 24K edible gold flakes.

Perfect and so fitting as these cookies remind us all of my mom. It is her recipe and she is the epitome of a Glamma. Never leaves the house without her signature earrings, her lipstick and makeup on, being dressed to the nines or without her 50 pound purse in tow. Never. Also, she has her hair washed and set every Thursday morning. I think that is going on 30 years now. Thus, these little Plain Jane home farm Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches have been rechristened to be another addition to the traditional family platter. Another cookie with a story to tell, a song to sing (well, I&rsquoll make that one up) and a dear great grandma to connect with when savoring the sensation. Meet the new for our Christmas Cookie 2016 Fashion Line Up: The Great Glamma! Everything, always now, with grandchildren in mind.

Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches: Making the Dough

Mis en place for the dough of these Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches, above. Ignore the milk. Why? We didn&rsquot use it.

There she is! Hello, mom! Yup! I am not ashamed of putting my 86 year old mom to work in my kitchen. She would be slaving at home in her own if she wasn&rsquot here. It is my goal to capture her making as many of her own recipes we love. The funny thing? Her recipe card instructions are hilarious. If they exist at all. Most often, it is an ingredient list, and the baking temperature and time or colour of the baked good.

All ingredients in one bowl, she is working them to become a cohesive unit. Instructions didn&rsquot need to be written unless they veered from the standard when mom was young. Everyone cooked and baked. Everyone. Provide a list of ingredients, and the instructions were inherent. The cookie method, pancake or muffin method, cake method&hellip each deeply ingrained within one&rsquos memory in those days because they were being used daily.

Mom can&rsquot even make a batch of cookies without answering her iPhone! Gosh. And we complain about our teens! Last year, we gave her an iPhone for Christmas as she is always on her home computer, but missed out so much with that silly non-data phone she had. Well, she misses out on nothing, now. I had to explain no phones at the dinner table and certainly none in the baking kitchen! We had a few good laughs! She is from the old school where you run like the devil when the phone rings. There were no answering machines when she was young and it was hard enough to get through with the party lines on the farm&hellip so, you ran. That has never left her. She cannot let a call go to the answering machine or wait to read a text. Nope. She is on it. Right in the middle of your conversation, or in the middle of baking a batch of cookies.

Remember those old recipes haven&rsquot any instructions? She was about to add milk when I said, &ldquoWhy?&rdquo the dough looked ready to go. She stopped and looked at me. &ldquoWell, I don&rsquot know. Frankly, I don&rsquot recall ever using milk.&rdquo So, we put it away and the Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches turned out perfectly without it.

Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches: Making the Filling

Mis en place for the filling. While I have never had these date filled oatmeal cookies at anyone else&rsquos house throughout my entire life, I found several recipes for &ldquodate filled oatmeal cookies&rdquo that were similar when preparing for this post. Of course, after reading so many, I do believe this one is the best. I come from a long line of really great home cooks. Why wouldn&rsquot it be? The clincher is the addition of the hit of citrus in this ultra sweet dried fruit filling. It brightens up the flavour, lightens the texture, and has it sparkle with holiday charm!

Simple ingredients all in the pan with the exception of the lemon.

The pitted dates melt into the hot water bath and disintegrate into an easily spreadable mass.

Mom has always loved to entertain, and though she is happiest in the kitchen, as am I, neither of us has any patience and we both have short tempers when it comes to making mistakes. No self-forgiveness. None. So, dad would try to disappear when mom was on a baking binge and though I know Vanja would love to, instead, he is the kindest most supportive husband one mentally ill perfectionist could ever marry! He runs out to buy those last minute groceries that I thought I had. He cleans in front of me and behind me. He asks if I need help and is the best Chef Sous in the city&hellip likely, the world! Yet, I see the stress on his face when nearing the home stretch. &ldquoAre you almost finished your Christmas Baking, now? Where are you at?&rdquo Oh, yes.. the tarts are done. The cookies are just about finished. I have the appetizers, the sweet treats (caramel corn, nuts and bolts, etc) and so much more to do yet. &ldquoOh.&rdquo &ldquoOk.&rdquo

The kitchen is tidied nightly. Some semblance of an evening meal is put on the table. And it starts all over again the next morning. Recipes out. Flour flying. Thermomix whirring. Dishes. Dishes. Dishes. DISHES! A mess on my shirt, my hair, my clothes. Oh. I should have worn an apron. Everywhere a mess-mess.

Mom is a neat nick when she cooks. I used to be like that when the kids were young. No more. I try but clearly, do so many things at once, consistently underestimate my time frames and have this to do when the timer for that rings and am focused on the third thing. Clean up some how gets lost in the shuffle til the very end of the day. Mom, adding lemon, above, using the orange press as the lemon is so big.

Oh, she loves her audience. Is she is going to squeeze the h^@ck out of a lemon at her age, she&rsquod better get a standing, O. Right?

Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches Filling is complete when it looks as it does, above.

We made a double batch of everything. One fore her one for me.

Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches: Rolling out the Dough

Light dusting of flour on a mat, sleeve on the rolling pin, and roll out 1/2 disc at a time. Cutting with the oatmeal to get a sharp edge means a sharp cutter: press, wiggle when pressing to move away the surrounding dough. Use a small spatula to lift each, if the shape doesn&rsquot lift inside the cutter.

Onto a parchment covered cookie sheet, 1/2 glammed up as the other 1/2 will be bottoms!

Date Filled Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches: Making the Great Glamma Cookie Sandwiches!

These are small and fairly thin, so bake about 6 minutes or until golden, and I mean golden. Not just until done. They are tastier on the toasty side.

Bottoms up: a generous amount of filling on the bottom of one cookie topped with a glam cookie. It is that easy. Not only is it that easy, but if you have any left over filling, it is easy to go back and add more into those that were deprived until it is all gone.

Mom has decided the last couple of years that she likes to fill them at the last minute to keep the cookies crisp. I don&rsquot do that. I love them just as they are. I just noticed the sparkle even hides their wrinkles and crinkles! Mom didn&rsquot have any of those til she turned 80. Seriously. But is also the master of hiding them, too. These recipe posts are fairly simple, but I cannot wait until mid month when I get them all out on the runway to do a little strutting their stuff on the new seasonal platter! Share your favourites! &lsquoTis the season!

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cups rolled oats
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a small saucepan over low heat, mix dates, sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes, or until thick and smooth. Set aside to cool.

Cream butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Gradually mix in flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the oatmeal and mix well. Stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons of water. Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into 2 inch rounds. Place 1/2 of the rounds on cookie sheets. Spoon date mixture in the center of each round and top with another round. Press edges firmly together.

To celebrate our nostalgia week, we’re giving away a fabulous book of vintage recipes. Downton Abbey fans, you’re in luck! Even Lady Mary couldn’t keep her composure if she saw this amazing prize. One lucky winner will receive one copy of The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes to Daisy’s Mousse au Chocolat–More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs.

Hally wrote, “My favoirte old time dinner is the first one I made for my husband after we were married- tuna noodle casserole topped with cornflakes! And i forget to add the tuna after i assembled it and put the cornflakes on top! so here I was , poking holes in the casserole to add the tuna!! oh the good old days. ”

Hally, we’ll email you about your prize!

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Granny's Date-filled Biscuits recipe - Recipes

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