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Date Tart Cookies
( 5 ) by ( 1 users )

1/2  cup softened butter  
1  cup brown sugar, firmly packed 
2  eggs 
1  teaspoon vanilla 
2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour 
1/2  teaspoon salt 
1/2  teaspoon nutmeg 
1/4  teaspoon baking soda 

Date Filling
1 1/2  cups pitted dates, lightly packed 
1/2  cup water 
2  tablespoons honey 
1/2  teaspoon vanilla 

1.For the COOKIE DOUGH: In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy; beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until easy to handle (at least 2 hours) for up to 3 days. Meanwhile, prepare date filling.

2. Prepare the DATE FILLING: In a small pan, combine all the ingredients except the vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring and mashing with a spooon, until mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in vanilla.  Let cool; then cover and refrigerate.

3. Now to assemble the COOKIE: Preheat oven to 180°. Take out 1/3 of the dough, leaving remaining dough in the refrigerator. On a well-floured board, roll out dough to 1/16-inch thickness; cut out with a 3-inch cookie cutter. Repeat with remaining dough, rolling and cutting one portion at a time. Place half the cookies slightly apart on greased baking sheets; spoon a heaping teaspoonful of filling into each. Cover each with another cookie and press edges together with a floured fork. Decoratively slash top, if desired. Bake in a 180° oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to racks and let cool. Store airtight.