These cookies incorporate the spices associated with the festive season, plus they have a sweet surprise inside - a mixture of sweet dates, orange flavouring and crunchy hazelnuts. They're perfect for a hostess gift or to tote along for a cookie swap.
Orange Medjool Date Stuffed Spice Cookies
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: about 12 minutes per batch
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup large flake oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
? pinch ground cloves
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Orange Date Filling
1 cup pitted Medjool dates, chopped
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup flaked hazelnuts (filberts)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Orange Date Filling: In a small saucepan, combine dates, orange rind and juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring once, for about 8 minutes or until juice is absorbed and dates are very soft. Remove from heat and stir to break up dates. Stir in hazelnuts and vanilla; set aside to cool.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together butter and granulated and brown sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture. Then, using hands, bring dough together into a soft mixture.
Place a level 1 Tbsp measure of the dough on a work surface and flatten into a circle. Place 1 tsp of the filling into the centre and top with another flattened 1 Tbsp of the dough. Pinch edges to seal. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Bake in a 350 F oven for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden around edges. Let cool slightly before serving.
Makes about 30 cookies.
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