Sunday, December 25, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Confections - Day 12 Merry Christmas!

Day 12 - Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a very special holiday. For my last Christmas confection I asked my mom for a very special family recipe. She began to tell me about my grandma Maxwell's Date Swirls. My mother said for as long as she can remember, my grandma Maxwell would prepare these treats on Christmas Eve. She would wait until everyone went to bed, then sequester herself in the kitchen, rolling the dough, making the sweet date filling, chilling these cookies overnight to be baked on Christmas day. The best thing about this recipe, is honestly the way my mother reminisced about these cookies, and my grandmother's somewhat mysterious ritual with them. The look in my mom's eyes had a glimmer of Christmas magic, while she sweetly smiled thinking of my grandmother. My mom told me that she never knew why my grandmother would make these all alone, in the wee hours of Christmas eve every year, but I'm guessing she probably loved the spirit of Christmas and it was her special way of savoring the holiday.

Date Swirls

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg
2 cups of flour, sifted before measuring
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter with the sugars. Beat until light and fluffy, add the egg, beat well. Sift flour with salt and baking soda, add to creamed mixture, beat until all ingredients are well incorporated. Toss on to a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth. Roll out until it is 1/4 inch thick. Spread with date filling and roll like a jelly roll. Wrap in waxed paper, chill overnight. Slice in to 1/4 inch slices. Bake on a well greased cookie sheet. Remove from pan to cake cooler immediately after baking. Makes about 3 dozen.

1/2 pound of pitted dates, finely chopped
1/3 cup of water
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup but meats, chopped

Cook dates, water and sugar together until thick. Stir constantly. Remove from heat, add the nuts. Cool before spreading on the dough.

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