Sunday, July 29, 2012

Alley 33 Fashion Show

  Cassie Ridgeway, co-producer of Alley 33 and owner of Mag-Big, a retail shop for local artists and designers ( wore a dress designed and made by Úna to the show last night.

I enjoyed watching my daughter Úna's swimwear collection on the runway at last night's Alley 33 fashion show.

It's rewarding to see the end result of months and months of hard work. Úna even designed the fabric. Her friend Lucas drew the pictures and she silk screened his design onto the fabric.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

A Guinness Chocolate Cake sitting in a bakery box and ready to give.

A Guinness Chocolate Cake is the cake I turn to when I want to make something special but also no fuss.

The cake is moist, rich and quick to make. Because it's a one-layer cake, frosting it couldn't be easier. Just spread on a batch of cream cheese icing so that it resembles the froth on top of a pint of Guinness and it's done.

The recipe is from Nigella Lawson's cookbook "Feast" and it also makes great cupcakes.

Chocolate Guinness Cake
1 cup Guinness
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and line a 9-inch springform pan.

Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, add the butter in slices and heat until the butter is melted. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and pour into the beer mixture and finally whisk in the flour and baking soda.

Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.

Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sift over the powdered sugar and beat them both together. Add the cream and beat again until it's a spreadable consistency. Ice just the top of the cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Designer Cookies

My daughter Úna is showing her latest clothing collection ( in a fashion show ( this evening so to celebrate I made decorated sugar cookies that look like her label.

To make the cookies I used a square cutter and simply cut them in half to make rectangles. I put a base coat of white icing on the cookies and let it dry. I piped the letters and heart on with a stiffer black icing.

I hope Úna likes them.

Baked cookies.
Waiting for the base coat to dry.
All done!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Big Birthday Cake

We celebrated two volunteer birthdays at the Wednesday Community Meal today — Happy Birthday Jay and Suzanne!

When it comes to making one cake for a large group this buttermilk chocolate cake with Swiss meringue buttercream is the perfect choice.

Just look at that big stack of plates and forks!

The cake recipe is one I've featured before. It's the "Greatest and Easiest Chocolate Cake" recipe featured on the box of Trader Joe's cocoa powder and it is indeed great and easy.

The Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe is from Julie Richardson of Baker & Spice Bakery here in Portland (6330 Southwest Capitol Highway). This buttercream is lightly sweet and spreads like a dream.

"Greatest and Easiest Chocolate Cake"
3 1/3 cups flour
1 1/3 cups cocoa powder
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
12 ounces butter 
3 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla 
5 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. (Note: For my cake, I used 2 round 8-inch pans that were 4 inches deep.)
Place all ingredients in electric mixer bowl and beat on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl once during mixing. Pour into prepared pans. Bake cakes for about 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
6 large egg whites
1 1/4  cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon espresso powder, dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water.
Place the whites in a clean mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar and cream of tartar.

Place bowl over a double boiler on medium heat, stir frequently until the mixture is very hot (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit).

Move to mixer and whip whites on high for 2 to 3 minutes; turn down to medium low until cool (use the bowl as your guide).

In a separate bowl with a wooden spoon, stir butter to soften.

With mixer on medium/high speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, adding the next tablespoon just as the previous one is blended in. Once all the butter incorporated, add in vanilla, salt and coffee and whip on high speed until fluffy.

SPARKS Volunteers

Two SPARKS volunteers helping long time volunteer Bill wash dishes. There's no doubt, the dishwashers worked the hardest today.
We were extra busy at the Wednesday Community Meal today with it being the last week of the month when money is typically tighter. We served 331 meals and didn't have a moment to rest.

Thankfully we had lots of energetic young volunteers from the SPARKS summer camp at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

This is the second year of the camp which encourages young people to "discover your spark and find out what energizes you and makes you happy."

During the two week session, campers participate in a different service project every day.

It was a pleasure having help from the SPARKS volunteers. They were kind to our guests and hard working.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

No Bake Cookies

These cookies are just the thing to make during the summer when you crave something sweet but don't want to heat the house even more by using the oven.

But it gets even better, they are chock full of healthy ingredients and come together in minutes.

No Bake Cookies
(makes 1 dozen)

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup crispy rice cereal or quick cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Mix peanut butter and honey together until smooth and creamy. Stir in crispy rice cereal or oats or a blend of the two and cranberries. Form 1-inch balls (I like to use a cookie scoop) and roll in coconut.

Place cookies on parchment or wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until firm. Be sure to store the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cinnamon Coffeecake

This is the easiest coffeecake to make.

It takes just 5 minutes to mix up and 40 minutes to bake.

Baking it makes your house smell wonderful and is just the thing to lure late sleepers out of their beds.

Cinnamon Coffeecake

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and shortening in a bowl. Crumble the ingredients together just like you would if you were making a pie crust.

Remove 1/3 cup of the crumbs for the topping. Add the cinnamon to this and set aside.

In another bowl combine the milk with the yogurt and baking soda. Mix well.

Add this to the dry mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour in to a greased 9-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle the cinnamon crumb mixture on top and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


When you are poor and struggling, being able to choose what you are going to eat can be a rare treat.

That's why at the Wednesday Community Meal at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, we like to offer choices whenever possible and one of the choices guests got to make today was what dessert to enjoy.

Thanks to Cheryl, our weekly dessert specialist, our guests usually get to choose what sweets they eat.

Cheryl puts a lot of time and love into putting the desserts together. It may seem like they magically appear but trust me, they don't.

Cheryl put in a full day on Tuesday making homemade cobbler with her granddaughter Katie.
Homemade peach cobbler made by Cheryl and her granddaughter Katie.
An assortment of desserts donated by Starbucks.

We served 260 meals today and thanks to Cheryl our guests were offered a choice.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Woody Gutherie Benefit Concert Is A Success.

Thanks to the wonderful local musicians who donated their time and talents and to a generous audience, the Woody Gutherie 100th Birthday Celebration and Benefit Concert was a huge success.

We raised nearly $4000 for Hunger Ministries at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and had a great time in the process.

We really couldn't have picked a better day. It's raining today in Portland but yesterday for the concert the weather was absolutely perfect.

I also want to thank the volunteers who worked to help set up the venue, sell posters and serve food to the crowd. We couldn't have done it without you!

A large crowd gathers in the courtyard of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
Artist Gary Houston donated his services and created this poster just for the event.
Corin Tucker Band performing for the crowd.

Homemade cookies for the crowd. Clockwise from top left: Rice Crispie Treat, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Pioneer Date Bar, Oatmeal Raisin, Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Chewy Coconut Cranberry and Chewy Ginger Cookie. We also had gluten free chocolate chip cookies and brownies available.
Flag toothpicks are a nice addition. My daughter found them for a bargain at the local Cash 'n' Carry store. A box of 144 toothpicks for .78 cents!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chewy Ginger Cookies

These Chewy Ginger Cookies are what I think Woody Guthrie had in mind when he said, "Cookies speak louder than words."

I'm not kidding, this is a real quote and Woody speaks the truth.

That's why I'm making them to serve at his 100th Birthday Celebration and benefit concert tomorrow at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (147 NW 19th Avenue, Portland, Oregon).

The concert starts at 7 p.m. and is free. All donations go directly to Trinity's Hunger Ministries which supports hunger programs in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank.

These cookies are especially good with a cup of tea. They are spicy, chewy, dense and they really satisfy.

Chewy Ginger Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
extra sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter, shortening and sugar. Add egg, molasses, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well.

Add baking soda and salt. Mix again.

Add flour and mix until a soft dough forms.

Form 1-inch balls of dough and dip into sugar. Place sugar side up on a sheet pan leaving 2-inches between the cookies.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies form cracks and become golden brown.

Let the cookies cool for a few minutes before removing them to cooling racks.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pioneer Date Nut Bars

I'm making four batches of Pioneer Date Nut Bars for the Woody Guthrie 100th Birthday Celebration this Saturday (see my Tuesday, July 10, 2012 post).

Why? Because I think they epitomize Woody — Seemingly simple on the outside but complex and extraordinary on the inside.

The recipe comes from "Baked Alaska: Recipes for Sweet Comforts from the North Country," by Sarah Eppenbach. I've tried just about every recipe in the book and love them all.

And truth be told, it's these bars that got me to buy the book in 1997. Sarah was handing out samples at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington when my husband and I just happened to stop in. It took one taste and we both knew we needed to buy the book.

These bars come together fast. The most time consuming part of the recipe is chopping the dates and walnuts. After that it's just mixing, spreading the batter in a baking pan and baking.

Pioneer Date Nut Bars
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar, for dusting the bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13 baking pan.

Combine dates and walnuts with the 2 tablespoons of flour and set aside.

Sift the remaining 3/4 cup flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, eggs, and vanilla.

Beat until smooth. Stir in the date mixture and spread the batter in the pan— it will be a thin layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and shrunk slightly from the edges of the pan.

Cut into 2-inch bars while warm, but cool in the pan before removing. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Green Wednesday

Charyl who donated fresh greens from her garden for our Wednesday Community Meal.
We served 287 lunches today at the Wednesday Community Meal and lots of healthy greens thanks to the generosity of Spring Hill Organic Farm and some home gardeners.

On Thursdays from June through September from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Spring Hill Organic Farm sells at the Northwest Portland Farmer's Market in the parking lot of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral at NW 19th Avenue and NW Everett Street. At the end of each market day the farm donates remaining greens to the Wednesday Community Meal.

These highest quality organic greens are such a treat for our guests and I love being able to serve fresh salads and add kale and chard to soups and other dishes.

We also receive smaller batches of greens from home gardeners who kindly share their bounty. Every single donation makes a difference and is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Benefit To Help Feed The Hungry

Here's the perfect opportunity to help feed the hungry and enjoy some great music courtesy of Woody Guthrie and a lineup of local rock, folk, neo-folk, bluegrass and blues musicians.

The benefit concert celebrating the 100th birthday of folk hero Woody Guthrie will be held on Saturday, July 14 at 7 p.m. in the courtyard of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral ( 147 NW 19th Ave, Portland). Performing will be local musicians including Corin Tucker Band, Holcombe Waller, Ben Landsverk, Rachel Taylor Brown, Buoy LaRue, Wendy & the Lost Boys, Josh Lava, Danny Seim and many others. 

The concert is free and all donations go directly to Trinity's Hunger Ministries which supports hunger programs in partnership with the Oregon Food Bank. One these programs is the Wednesday Community Meal which I help run and write about on this blog. 

If you need extra motivation to join us, I am bringing homemade treats to share including the Chewy Coconut Cranberry Cookies in the post below.

I hope to see you there.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chewy Coconut Cranberry Cookies

These chewy oatmeal cookies really hit the spot.

There is a tasty balance of salty and sweet and the coconut and cranberries add chewiness and flavor.

Once you taste them you might want to double the recipe to make a bigger batch.

Chewy Coconut Cranberry Cookies
(makes 3 dozen cookies)

2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add vanilla and egg and mix well.

Add flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix well.

Stir in the oats, coconut and dried cranberries.

Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Space them about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheetpans for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Amazing Burn Remedy

Like most busy bakers I've had my share of burns.

A few weeks ago while working at the Wednesday Community Meal I burned the palm of my hand  when I used a torn oven mitt that should have been tossed.

My friend and fellow volunteer Martha quickly came to my rescue with a bottle of cold yellow mustard. We learned about the remedy in "The People's Pharmacy" newspaper column and thought we should give it a try.

After running cold water over the burn for about 5 minutes it looked like it was going to blister. Martha squeezed the cold mustard over the burn and I put on a latex glove and got back to work.

The mustard immediately cooled the burn and took the pain away. I reapplied mustard about every 30 minutes for a couple of hours. After we finished work, Martha checked the burn with me and we could hardly see where it was and it didn't hurt at all.

Martha and I couldn't believe how fast the mustard worked to heal the burn. "It's a miracle," she said. I agree and the best part is that yellow mustard is inexpensive and readily available in your fridge.

I have no scar from the burn and am thankful for Martha's quick response.

Please note that the mustard treatment is for first and second degree burns. Please seek medical help for more serious injuries.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Cake For Everyone

I'm throwing a last minute small surprise birthday party for my niece Maya so I turned to my recipe for vegan chocolate cake because it will please everyone on my guest list.

The birthday girl's mom is a vegan and who wants to make two cakes for a party?

I've already posted this great recipe (see my June 5, 2012 post) but I just can't emphasize enough how easy and foolproof this cake is.

And, if you are nervous about frosting and removing cakes from a pan this is the recipe for you because you serve it in the pan you bake it in and you just pour a glaze on top.

A few colorful sprinkles add a festive touch.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cup warm water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar

Chocolate Glaze

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
4 tbsp soy milk
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add the water, vanilla, oil, and vinegar, and mix well. Pour into the baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack completely (2 hours).

For the glaze, in a saucepan, bring sugar, margarine, milk, and cocoa to a boil. Stir frequently; then reduce heat to a simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir for another 5 minutes.

Bring the glaze to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
After the cake has cooled completely, pour on the glaze.

Add vanilla, stir, and immediately pour over cake. The glaze dries quickly so spread it immediately and add any sprinkles now. Let the cake cool for at least an hour before serving.           
Colorful sprinkles add a nice touch.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Cobbler Is A Hit

My husband Joe enjoying cobbler with a side of frozen vanilla yogurt.
The Ginger Scented Raspberry cobbler turned out great. It's not too sweet and very satisfying.

Ginger Scented Fresh Raspberry Cobbler

Here's a lickety split dessert idea for your 4th of July celebration: Ginger Scented Fresh Raspberry Cobbler.

Oregon raspberries are at their peak right now so they're easy to find in stores and the price is right.

Or maybe you're like me and lucky enough to have generous friends with a large raspberry patch in their own backyard. Thank you Bill and Marsha!

Fresh just picked raspberries.

The cobbler can be put together in minutes and just needs to bake and cool a bit before serving. Vanilla ice cream would be great with this.

Ginger Scented Fresh Raspberry Cobbler
(serves 12 to 14)
6 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl combine raspberries with 1 1/3 cups sugar, vanilla and ginger. Set aside.
The raspberries will look like this after mixing them with the sugar, vanilla and ground ginger.

In another bowl combine melted butter with milk. Add flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
Spread batter in an ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish.

Drop raspberries over the top and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Let cool before serving.
The batter with the berries before baking.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Maple French Macarons

My latest French macaron creation is maple. The secret to a rich maple flavor is to use B grade pure maple syrup.

When it comes to baking, B grade is always my preferred choice over A grade because of its richer maple flavor and darker color.

I also like that the filling for these maple macarons couldn't be any easier. It's just a package of cream cheese, a bit of unsalted butter and 1/3 cup of the best B grade maple syrup you can find whipped together.

Maple Macarons
180g ground almonds, sifted
270g powdered sugar, sifted
150g egg whites, aged 2 to 4 days in the fridge and then brought to room temperature
100g granulated sugar

Line four heavy baking sheets with good quality parchment paper and set aside. Also, set aside two pastry bags for the piping of the macarons.

Sift together your ground almonds with the powdered sugar and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the granulated sugar gradually in four parts.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites using a large rubber scraper.  Mix well. 
Fold the mixture with the rubber scraper by pulling down the sides and flipping the mixture over. Do this until you have a smooth mixture that falls like a “ribbon” off the scraper.

Transfer the mixture into the two piping bags. Use rubber bands to close the piping bags. Clip the tip of the bags, one at a time, and pipe small quarter sized rounds, leaving 1-inch of space between each because they spread as they set.

Leave to set for about 30 minutes or until the top has formed a crust and is not sticky to the touch.
While they are setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. A convection oven is preferable. 

Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for about 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.
Leave on the baking tray until cool then lift them all off the parchment carefully. You may need to use a thin knife to help lift them off.

Sort into pairs and fill with Maple Filling.

Maple Filling
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup B grade pure maple syrup

Whip together cream cheese and butter. Add maple syrup and whip again.
Transfer to a piping bag to fill macarons.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Old Fashioned Filled Cookies

I shared one of my homemade mini berry tarts (see my June 18, 2012 post) with Ken who is my dad's very best friend. I've known him my whole life and he is like a second father to me.

Ken said the texture of the little tart reminded him of a filled cookie that he enjoyed when he was younger. My dad has also told me that he remembers his grandmother making raisin or fruit filled cookies.

And, my good friend Anne says she remembers her "Grannie" making date filled cookies.

Why is it so hard to find these old fashioned filled cookies today? They might be from the past but they are remembered fondly.

I decided I must find a recipe and asked Ken for his help. So he asked his sister Lucille who lives in upstate New York if she had a recipe she could share. Lucille found one and kindly sent it to Ken with the following note:

"Found this one recipe in old, torn & undated cookbook minus its cover. Copied it exactly as it's written in book."

The recipe had minimal instructions which Lucille wrote was common at the time.

Here is the recipe that Lucille found:

Filled Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sour milk
1 scant teaspoon soda

Roll thin.

Filling for filled cookies:
4 tablespoons water
1 cup rasins, ground
1/2 cup sugar
juice 1/2 lemon

Cook & spread when cold!
There are so few instructions and no baking time or temperature but I knew I could make it work.

I decided to make a date filling instead of raisin and I made a few ingredient substitutions.

The end result was delicious and the recipe was easy. The finished cookie was softer than I expected but I liked it a lot. It reminded me of a date filled Fig Newton which for me is a very good thing.

Thank you Ken and Lucille! I am going to keep this recipe on file and am on a mission to make old fashioned filled cookies popular again.

Here's my new recipe:

Date Filled Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and buttermilk. Mix well.

Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until it forms a soft dough.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Be sure to chill the dough at least an hour before rolling.

After it's chilled, roll the dough until it's just under 1/4 inch thick. The dough is quite soft and sticky so be sure to use enough flour.
Be sure to use enough flour when you roll the dough as it is rather soft and sticky.

Use small cookie cutter to cut squares or rounds and place on parchment lined baking sheets.

Use a small cookie cutter to cut rounds or squares.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.
Let cool and sandwich the cookies between a layer of fillng.

1 1/2 cups finely chopped dates
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Combine the filling ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the dates break apart and the filling thickens. Be sure to watch it and stir constantly.

Remove from heat and let cool completely before spreading between the cookies.
The cooled date filling.