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“Billy Goats” Date Cookies

May 2, 2012

Billy Goats

I grew up on these cookies, but I can’t say that I have ever heard of or seen anyone I know ever make them. Though you wouldn’t know that by Googling them – there is a wide range of variations on the recipe. I’m not a big fan of dates on their own, but in these cookies the date pieces become like little chewing candy bits. The spices make me think of Fall and the holidays, but I had a friend gift me a pound of dates, so I made cookies! These are totally addicting to… what cookie isn’t, right?!

Billy Goats Cookies
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 Tbsp. sour milk*
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 lb. (2 cups) chopped dates**

*Make sour milk by adding 1 tsp. vinegar OR lemon juice to 1/4 cup milk.

**To make chopping the dates easier, buy pitted dates, and use kitchen shears. Dip the shears in a cup of hot water every few dates to keep them from sticking too much. I prefer to cut them into large-pea-size pieces by cutting them lengthwise in quarters and then snipping across.

Cream the butter and sugar well; add egg yolks and vanilla, and beat in with mixer for 2 minutes. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices together. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture with sour milk. Blend well by hand. Add nuts and dates and work well.

Drop by teaspoonful one inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Yield: about 6 doz.

Store in a lightly sealed (not air tight) container to maintain chewy cookies.

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