Skip to main content

Old Fashioned Date-Filled Sugar Cookies

A Delicious Old-Fashioned Date Cookie

I'm always on the lookout for a "new-to-me" cookie recipe.  One day when chatting about favorite cookie recipes with my mom and dad, Dad raved about a date-filled cookie he remembered from his childhood.  It was one of his favorite recipes my nana made for her family.  Mom dug through her recipe collection and was able to find a recipe for the cookies.

Date-Filled Sugar Cookies
Old Fashioned Date-Filled Cookies
The recipe card attributed the recipe to Edith Hoar, one of the ladies from Grand Lake Stream, Maine, the small town where Dad was raised.  The recipe directions made me laugh.  Like many vintage recipes from the time, this recipe for date filled cookies was customarily ambiguous.

It read:

Cream: 2 cups sugar, 1 cup shortening
Add:  1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 6 level teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons vanilla, flour enough to roll.
Filling: Stir 2 packages dates, 2/3 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons flour, 2 cups water.

Cook together until smooth and thick.  Roll cookies thin.  Cut out and place on cookie sheet.  Fill. Cover with a cookie.  Bake at 350 degrees F, 12 to 15 minutes.
Vintage Date-Filled Sugar Cookies

I decided to make these cookies one rainy afternoon this week.  Curious about the recipe, I did an online search to see if I could find this recipe or a similar one that would give me more clarity about how much flour to use.  I found a similar recipe at  After reading that recipe I adjusted my recipe to include 6 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.  I was ready to go.

Old Fashioned Date Filled Cookies

Printer Friendly Recipe

Date-Filled Cookie Ingredients
Date-Filled Cookie Ingredients
  • 16 ounces pitted dates, chopped
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour

First, make the filling.  Chop the dates.  I snipped mine using kitchen shears into the bowl of my electric food chopper.  I added the 2 tablespoons of flour to help keep the dates from sticking to the blades of the chopper.

Place the chopped dates in a 2-quart saucepan.  Add the sugar and water, stir to combine.  Heat the mixture over medium heat and cook until thick, about 15 minutes.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

The Date Filling for the Cookies
The Date Filling

While the filling is cooling, make the cookie batter.  Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the shortening and the granulated sugar, about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time and the vanilla, beating to combine well.  Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter in half, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use.

Two Disks of Cookie Dough
Divide the Dough into Two Disks

When ready to assemble the cookies, lightly flour your rolling surface. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Roll out one-half of the dough to a thickness from 1/8-1/4 inch using a rolling pin.  Choose the size of your cookie cutter.  I used a 3-inch round which made HUGE cookies.  I recommend a smaller round, about 2-inches.  These cookies expand in the oven, so if you start smaller you'll have more room on your cookie sheet.  You'll find the dough is easy to roll out and very forgiving.

Cutting the Cookie Dough with a Cookie Cutter
Roll Out the Dough

Place one cookie on the baking sheet.  Top the cookie with the cooled date filling.  Be generous, but be sure to leave a border along the edge to seal the top cookie to the bottom cookie.

Filling the Cookies
Filling the Cookies
Now place a second cookie on top of the filling.

Assembling the date-filled sugar cookies
Place a Second Cookie on Top
Continue to assemble additional cookies, eight or nine to a cookie sheet.   Seal the edges using the tines of a fork dipped in flour.

How to Seal the Edges of the Cookie
Seal the Edges
Bake one pan of cookies at a time on the center rack of your oven.  My large sized cookies took 20 minutes to bake, smaller cookies will take 12-15 minutes.  They are done as soon as they start to get a tinge of golden color.

Date-filled Sugar Cookies Cooling on a Rack
Cool Date-Filled Cookies on a Rack

Remove the cookies to a rack to cool.  Cool completely.  These are generously sized treats that are different from the usual cookies I make or buy.  If you are looking for something different, these old fashioned date-filled cookies may fit the bill.  They are lovely with a cup of tea.

Before you go...Join the Just One Donna Community for exclusive content or sign up to be notified of new blog posts through an RSS feeder in the sidebar.

Please use the buttons on the left to share this post. I thank you for sharing!



  1. Hi Donna from just one Karr!

    I will have to try these! I have a love affair with dates. In high school, (68-71) I was addicted to Peggy Lawton date bars that they used to sell in our cafeteria. Didn't think much more about dates until I spent 2 years in Saudi Arabia. My Saudi counterpart introduced me to their dates which are so much different than the ones we buy in supermarkets. Their fresh dates were much larger, sweeter, and you'd swear they were rolled in honey. THEY WERE SO-O-O GOOD JUST TO EAT AS IS! It's like they keep the best for themselves and export their puny little discards. Lol.

  2. Hi Just One Karr,
    It sounds like this recipe has your name on it! Dates don't seem to have a wide following here in the U.S., but they are yummy. I also like a nice date nut bread this time of year. I should post my recipe....

  3. love date cookies I sometimes fold over no second cookie great recipe will get some dates today thanks merry Christmas from wis

    1. Yes, I love these cookies, too. Merry Christmas to you.

  4. Will this recipe work with any flavor of pie filling?

    1. Yes, you can use any pie filling you would like and they will still taste amazing.

  5. my mom always made this at Christmas so im going to start this brings back so many memories. thanks

  6. How many cookies does this recipe make?

    1. I made a dozen of these extra large cookies. You'll need to experiment if you make smaller cookies.

    2. My original inquiry was about the extra large version of these cookies, which I made-and I used my method of cracking the eggs-simulating the nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty, which I should share with you. First I decorate the egg to look like Humpty Dumpty by affixing arms and legs cut out of paper with duct tape (scotch tape doesn't stick well to eggs just taken out of the refrigerator) and drawing a face on the egg. Then I set up a box that is supposed to be the wall with a bowl at the bottom separate from the bowl used to mix other ingredients. To simulate the line "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall" I seat the egg on top of the box with the bowl at the bottom. To simulate the line "Humpty Dumpty had a great fall" I knock the egg off the wall into the bowl, where, as you would expect, the egg cracks. Then to re-enact the line "All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again" I place figurines of the King's horses and the King's men near the bowl. This last part is not really part of the egg-cracking procedure, I just do it to be complete.

  7. I am trying these but with raisons not dates. I have the raisons in paste form now, cooling. I am doing a half recipie. Added less sugar to the raisons. Got 8 on two different trays, 16 in total. Took 15 minutes to develop a slight browning. Interesting flavour.

  8. Can I use butter instead of shortening in this recipe?

    1. I never have substituted for this recipe because this is my grandmother’s recipe and I always want it to be just as she made it.

  9. As my Grandmother would always say "oh my goodness". Whenever we would visit her in Ohio she would always have these cookies and chocolate chip cookies on hand. She had a recipe book which she handwritten and was so old some of it was hard to read. I tried making them which didn't quite turn out like hers. So I searched for a recipe that had 6 cups of flour and whalla, I believe this was a hit. Only difference I had was I had 4 tsp baking soda for the dough and I had 2 tsp lemon juice for the filling. Can't wait to try this recipe. Thank You So Much!

  10. Hi Joan. This is exactly why I posted this recipe. I hope you find these are just as you remember the cookies your grandmother made.


Post a Comment

Talk to me. I welcome your comments. (These comments are strictly moderated. Spammers take note.)

Popular posts from this blog

How to Trap and Get Rid of Fruit Flies

What can you do to kill fruit flies?  We've all been there.  Fruit flies in the kitchen.  Fruit flies in the bathroom.  Fruit flies buzzing around everywhere in your home.   It's a frustrating problem that happens to everyone at one time or another.  If you are a fresh fruit and produce lover you certainly know what I mean. How to Kill Fruit Flies with Two Ingredients Those pesky little buggers can often be brought into your home on the vegetables and fruit you buy. There are many solutions offered for fruit fly traps to help you solve your problem.   A quick Amazon search found these products. You can spend your money on one of these solutions or I can save you a whole lot of your hard-earned cash today. My solution is the best.  Here's why: You have the ingredients in your kitchen now.  You need apple cider vinegar and a mild dish liquid . It's a healthy, family-friendly solution. It works quickly. Two-Ingredient No Pesticide Fruit Fly Trap

How to Make a Perfect Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

In my opinion, the best breakfast consists of two perfectly fried eggs, crispy bacon, and toast made with a hearty bread. It is the breakfast you want when you have time to relax around the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee or two. The Best Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) How to Cook Bacon and Eggs My technique was learned from my mom, by watching her make our family's breakfast over and over again, year after year.  Cooking eggs in bacon fat is easy and takes just a little practice to perfect. All you really need for a great bacon and eggs breakfast is a good nonstick skillet and a good toaster . If you want to make your own bread for toast, a bread machine like mine  will make that easy as can be. Three Ingredients for a Great Breakfast A loaf of your favorite bread Extra-large eggs, because you want a g

How to Turn Store-Bought Potato Salad from Blah to Amazing

Here's a time-saver for you just in time for summer cookouts.  When you need a quick potato salad, that ordinary store-bought potato salad you have in your refrigerator can go from blah to amazing in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. There's no judgment here. We don't always have the time to make a potato salad from scratch. Sometimes it is just easier to stop by your local grocery store to pick up a container of the store-made potato salad. It's good. It's predictable.  It will do.  All it needs is a little doctoring. How to Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Better Take Your Potato Salad from Blah to AH-Mazing! What should you do if you want that store-bought potato salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having people over for an impromptu barbecue and you'd like your potato salad to be a little special. There is no need to fret.  A quick trip to the grocery store will get you start

Rum Punch for a Party

As the weather warms and you start to think about gathering friends and family for parties and celebrations you'll want to think about signature cocktails. This rum punch cocktail is an ideal cocktail for a large gathering. Don't you think a warm-weather cocktail should make imagine yourself sitting by the shore with your toes in the sand? Rum punch is one of those cocktails.  Cool and fruity, rum punch will make a party! One sip and you'll be transported to the beach. Rum Punch Cocktail (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) Rum Punch for a Party! This rum punch recipe is a make-ahead recipe I use whenever we are having a large group for a summer picnic or barbecue.  Use the recipe below as your baseline and double or triple the ingredients as needed. You'll need a large container for storage and room enough in your refrigerator to keep it cool.  My f

Forgotten Pork Chops

Today dawned dark and dreary in my corner of New England.  I woke to a dusting of snow, gray skies, and an ongoing drizzle forecast for the remainder of the day. It's days like these when you turn to a one-pan, comfort food dinner like this recipe for Forgotten Pork Chops. This recipe is perfect for a dreary winter weeknight or any day you want an easy, hearty meal. (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  When you purchase through these links I receive a small compensation.)  Forgotten Pork Chops Truth be told, this recipe came about on a day when I wasn't really in the mood to spend time in the kitchen.  Much like today, it was dreary.  It was pouring rain and we had just sent the last of our guests home from my son's wedding. All I wanted to do was sit with my feet up. I needed an easy pork chop recipe!  This recipe is the result and has been a favorite ever since.  The recipe serves two to four, depending on the number of pork chops you us