Oatmeal date sandwich cookies

Oatmeal date sandwich cookies | fchem101.com

I remember lots of great food coming out of my grandma’s kitchen, with the peanut butter bonbons from two weeks ago pretty much at the top of that list. It continued with peanut butter treats masquerading as “energy bars,” holiday cheeseballs, and all sorts of yummy things that my childhood self adored.

These cookies did not make the cut.

Oatmeal date sandwich cookies | fchem101.com

Oatmeal date sandwich cookies | fchem101.com

Pretty orange salt! My parents brought it back from Hawaii.

Grandma made these for my mom, and I was so disappointed when she opened up her box of treats to reveal anything containing dates. They were gross and also I was pretty sure they were healthy, which seemed like cheating in a dessert. No chocolate in sight and not even any peanut butter? I was not interested.

Now that I enjoy slightly more foods than I did at age 7, I finally see my mom’s point about these cookies. The cookies by themselves, crisp and chewy with plenty of dark brown sugar, deserve attention, but add the date filling and they steal the show. I found my grandma’s typewriter-written (of course) recipe card for these, one of the old-fashioned kind with fields to fill in at the top.

“From the kitchen of: Grandma Vaughn” (her mother–they go back even farther than I thought!)

“A favorite of: most of us if filled with dates”

And it’s true, they win everyone over. Even if it takes some of us a little while to get there.

Oatmeal date sandwich cookies | fchem101.com

Oatmeal date sandwich cookies | fchem101.com

Grandma always drank coffee out of the smallest cup in the house.

Oatmeal date sandwich cookies

My great-grandmother’s recipe! The cookies bake up crispy and full of flavor, and a simple date jam filling complements them perfectly. Sweet and unusual, these are perfect for afternoon tea and will be devoured at a holiday cookie exchange.

Yield: about 30 sandwich cookies

For the cookies:

2 c. dark brown sugar

2 1/2 c. flour

2 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

1/2 c. boiling water

1 c. butter

1 t. vanilla

4 c. rolled oats

For the date filling:

2 1/2 c. chopped dates

1/2 c. sugar

1 c. water

Make the cookies: mix together the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.

Add the butter and vanilla to the hot water and heat gently until the butter melts. Stir the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix. Add the oats.

Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll the dough to 1/8″ thick, and cut into circles with a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or top of a glass. Bake for 9 minutes, until slightly darkened.

Make the date filling: heat all ingredients over medium heat until thickened and jammy, stirring constantly.