This recipe began with a neighbor of mine, Kathy. She lived next to me in a small apartment in Las Cruces. She was rather eccentric and had lived a rough life. She was from Michigan and had landed in New Mexico when her only daughter moved into the area because her husband was in the military. What a wonderful lady! She too loved to cook and we would often share recipes. This one she shared with me, but as always I had to add a Michelle twist. It begins with a lovely oatmeal shortbread which you then fill with a luxurious date and walnut filling and in the words of my dad, “Katy bar the door!”
1 c. Brown Sugar
¾ c. Crisco (I do not recommend the butter flavored version)
¾ c butter softened (Michelle Twist!)
3 c toasted oatmeal (Toasting is the Michelle Twist!)
4 c. flour
½ c. sour cream
1 t. baking soda
1 T. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar with Crisco and butter; mix until fluffy. In a separate bowl combine oatmeal, flour, baking soda and salt; stir well. Add ½ of the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture scrape down sides of the bowl then add sour cream and vanilla; finish with the remaining dry ingredients. Roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick (I use a triangle cookie cutter so they stand out!). Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool cookies completely, they will be crispy and light.
1 pound of chopped dates
1 c. hot water
1 c. sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon*
Combine all ingredients in a saucepot over medium heat on the stovetop. The dates will begin to fall apart and resemble marmalade as it reached a boil. Remove from the heat, add ½ c. finely chopped walnuts (Michelle Twist) and allow to cool. Spread a layer of date walnut filling between two cookies. Place cookies in an airtight container and store in a cool place. If you can, wait until the next day to try these cookies.
* Do not omit the lemon as it cuts the richness of the dates and gives a nice little tang.