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The lore: This is a recipe from J's great-grandma, as far as we can figure it. She probably cut it out of a magazine or newspaper, because various aspects date it to 1910 or so, particularly the use of dates and coconut- these were starting to be popularized then, but were still really "fancy" and exotic ingredients. Also, the butter was initially listed as "1.5 inches"- and I remember seeing J's mom using a yardstick to measure that out of a quarter-pound stick of butter! The cookies were tasty, but TOUGH! and really, REALLY hard to mix up! So when I started thinking about it, I realized that about the time the recipe was created, butter was sold in 1-pound blocks (not quarter sticks), and that put the butter amount into normal territory for cookies.

Making: this works fine with GF flour, even the beany ones. The texture will be slightly different but not much. There is a lot of variability in how they turn out- sometimes they spread a lot and get lacy and chewy; sometimes they clump more... but they are delicious however! I think it has to do with the heat of the kitchen impacting how much they spread.

These are basically a granola in cookie form. I think they'd be great with any kind of dried fruit instead of the dates, and other nuts instead of the walnuts; I am contemplating a pina colada variation (HERESY!!!) with dried pineapple and macadamia nuts... I do NOT think adding chocolate, or other chips would be true to the history. And- especially if you went with raisins- cinnamon or a spice blend might be a tasty addition... but below is the purist version!

Traditional Fisher Family Xmas Cookies

2/3rds cup (0.67 cup) butter, or 1.5 inches!
1.5 cup brown sugar (10.15 oz)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.5 cups flour (gluten-free fine)
1 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 teaspoon salt

2 cups (5.25 oz) shredded coconut
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, chopped to med pieces
1 pound chopped dates (buy already chopped; chopping dates is long and hard!)

Heat oven to 375F. Grease cookie sheets, or use parchment or silmat or similar.

Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat.

Mix flour with soda and salt. Add to egg mixture and mix.

Add coconut to mixture. Mix. Add oats; mix.

By hand, mix in nuts, then dates. The dough will be very stiff, and kneading them in by hand is usually the best method.

Drop from a spoon onto cookie sheet- roughly 1-2 tablespoons per cookie.

Bake at 375F for around 10 min, depending on oven, spreading, and taste.

Yield: quite a lot! And I don't know of anyone who hasn't liked them!

Date: 2017-01-19 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kk1raven.livejournal.com
I still have a few left from the batch we made before Christmas. I definitely like them and intend to make more of them at some point, possibly with dried apricots if I can't find good quality dates at the time.

Date: 2017-01-20 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cissa.livejournal.com
They would be great with apricots!

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