Old Quebec Date Filled Oat Cookies

Saturday 27 January 2024

Date Filled Cookies 




As some of you may know, my father wrote his car off on the eve of his 90th birthday several weeks ago.  Thankfully he wasn't too banged up in the process, but he has been without wheels ever since. That means my sister and I have been running his meals, etc. back and forth to him.



For the last five or so years he has had supper every night at my sister's place. He was on his way home from there in the snow when he had the accident.  He no longer cooks much for himself. Maybe some toast and he will do oatmeal in the microwave sometimes, but my sister is the one who feeds him for the main part.


He may get another car soon, but in the interim my sister and I are ferrying his meals to him, picking up his laundry, etc. 


Dad always likes a bit of sweet after his main meal. His eyes always light up at the sight of a piece of cake, or some ice cream, a cookie, some jello, etc.



 
Date Filled Cookies 





My father is French Canadian. He was born in and grew up in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region of Quebec, up in the North West of the province.  It is an area of wild and pristine beauty.  His home town sits on the banks of the Ha! Ha! Bay.  It used to be called Bagotville, but is now called La Baie, as three former towns were incorporated into one.



My father is a simple man with very simple tastes. He doesn't like anything much out of the ordinary. I was wanting to bake him a treat the other day and so I went to an old Cookbook of mine entitled The Cooking of Provincial Quebec by Mirelle Beulieu.  Published in 1975, it is filled with lovely recipes from Old Quebec. 



Date Filled Cookies

  



It is one of my favorite older cookbooks. Partly because there is nothing complicated in it.  Just simple good food prepared well. Party because it speaks to my French Heritage in a unique and delicious way.



I thought these cookies might remind my father of his childhood in some way.  When he was a small boy his Uncle used to call him the "Penny Boy."  Every day he would make the rounds of his Aunt's and Uncle's and they would give him pennies, which he would then take to the store to buy candy. 



He is a very charming man now and methinks he must have  been charming, but mixed with a bit of precociousness back then as well.  In any case we love him to pieces and anything we can do to make his eyes light up brings us all great joy!



Hence, Date Filled Oat Cookies.   Crisp and buttery oat cookies with a nutty wholesome texture, sandwiched together with a sweet and sticky date caramel-like filling. These went down a real treat! Its the simple things in life which bring us the most joy for sure.



Date Filled Cookies 





WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE DATE FILLED OAT COOKIES


Simple, every day baking cupboard essentials. That's it.  There is nothing complicated about these.



For the cookies:
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter
  • 1 cup (200g) soft light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) boiling water
  • 2 cups (280g) plain all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (160g) oatmeal (not instant)
For the filling:
  • 1 cup (152g) chopped dates
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water



Date Filled Cookies 





I use plain salted butter for my baking.  I have never had a problem with anything tasting over salty. If I am worried about that, I will simply leave any salt out of the recipe altogether or cut back on any salt required for the recipe.


As you can see there are no eggs required for this recipe. That makes this a fabulous baked treat for anyone who has egg allergies.



Don't be tempted to use anything but whole oats for this recipe. NO QUICK OATS. You want an oatmeal that has a nice tooth to it in order to get that really nutty caramel-like flavor in the cookie.



Date Filled Cookies 





I used whole pitted dates that I chopped up with my kitchen scissors for the filling, and I packed them down into the cup a bit. That way I had a nice thick filling.



You might think that it is not going to thicken at first, but once the dates start to break down it thickens quite quickly, which is why you need to check on it frequently.  The sweetness of the filling makes it especially susceptible to sticking or burning.



Date Filled Cookies 



HOW TO MAKE DATE FILLED OAT COOKIES


These really are not all that time consuming or difficult to make. If you make the date filling while the cookies are baking, then it will be properly cooled off by the time you go to sandwich the cookies together.  Do keep an eye on the date filling so that it doesn't scorch or burn! 



Put the butter and brown sugar for the cookies in a large saucepan. Melt slowly, stirring occasionally, over medium low heat. Remove from the heat



Add the soda to the boiling water. Whisk this into the butter/sugar mixture.



Gradually stir in the oatmeal and the flour to combine and mix well together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to bring together.





Date Filled Cookies





Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/gas mark 4. Line several baking sheets with baking parchment.



Roll the oatmeal dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Stamp into rounds using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Place at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.



Gather any scraps back together and continue to cut out rounds until you have used all the dough. (Try to get as many rounds from the first roll out as you can.)



Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown around the edges and on the bottoms. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.




Date Filled Cookies 






Place all of the ingredients for the filling into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook over medium low heat until the mixture has thickened and the dates have become almost pureed. Set aside to cool completely.



Sandwich pairs of cookies together with a portion of the date filling in the middle. Store in an airtight container.





Date Filled Cookies 





There is no other word to describe these delicious cookies other than moreish.  Two crisp oatmeal and brown sugar cookies/biscuit.  The cookies themselves are not too sweet, which is a good thing because that date filling is incredibly sweet.



In short there is a perfect balance between the  nutty oatiness of the cookies and the sweet caramel-like jammy flavors of the date filling. Altogether, quite QUITE delicious!



Simply put, a beautiful combination.




Date Filled Cookies




I love a good sandwich type of cookie. Some others that I bake from time to time that you might also enjoy are:



PEANUT BUTTER CRINKLE COOKIES -  Two crisp and crinkly sugar coated peanut butter cookies, sandwiched together with a rich and creamy peanut butter buttercream icing.  Perfect for after school with an ice cold glass of milk, or on the side of a dish of vanilla ice cream!



GINGER AND JAM SANDWICH COOKIES - These are one of my all time favorite sandwich cookies. Two soft ginger cookies, coated in crunchy sugar and sandwiched together with a lovely layer of seedless raspberry jam.  What's not to love!






Yield: about 20 filled cookies
Author: Marie Rayner
Date Filled Cookies

Date Filled Cookies

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 30 Min
An old, old recipe for oaty brown sugar sandwich cookies, filled with a lush sweet date filling. Quite simple to make and very delicious.

Ingredients

For the cookies:
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter
  • 1 cup (200g) soft light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) boiling water
  • 2 cups (280g) plain all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (160g) oatmeal (not instant)
For the filling:
  • 1 cup (152g) chopped dates
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) water

Instructions

  1. Put the butter and brown sugar for the cookies in a large saucepan. Melt slowly, stirring occasionally, over medium low heat. Remove from the heat
  2. Add the soda to the boiling water. Whisk this into the butter/sugar mixture.
  3. Gradually stir in the oatmeal and the flour to combine and mix well together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to bring together.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/gas mark 4. Line several baking sheets with baking parchment.
  5. Roll the oatmeal dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Stamp into rounds using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Place at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
  6. Gather any scraps back together and continue to cut out rounds until you have used all the dough. (Try to get as many rounds from the first roll out as you can.)
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown around the edges and on the bottoms. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Place all of the ingredients for the filling into a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook over medium low heat until the mixture has thickened and the dates have become almost pureed. Set aside to cool completely.
  9. Sandwich pairs of cookies together with a portion of the date filling in the middle. Store in an airtight container.
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Date Filled Oat Cookies






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