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FOR THE DOUGH:
* Cream the shortening in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add sugar and mix well.
* Add eggs, baking powder, half the orange juice and rind and mix well.
* Gradually add flour until the dough is pliable. (NOTE: dough should not be sticky or flaky. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.)
FOR THE FILLING:
* Grind figs and dates together. Pit ground figs and dates into a heavy bottom saucepan with remaining ingredients and stir over low heat so that the sugar completely dissolves and mixture is smooth and spreadable, about 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees while assembling cookies.
* Roll out dough to a thickness of about 1/8 to 3/16 inches. (NOTE: if dough is too soft, put in the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes to stiffen).
* Cut dough into strips about 8 to 10 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide.
* Place a strip of filling down the center of each strip, lengthwise.
* Fold dough over on either side of the filling.
* Press down on seam to seal.
* Cut cookies into two inch lengths with diagonal cuts.
* Bake 12-15 minutes until slightly browned, set aside to cool.
* While cookies are baking, make the frosting by beating margarine and powdered sugar until welll blended.
* Gradually add milk, one tablespoon at a time until mixture consistency is smooth and slightly runny.
* When cookies are cool, frost with a knife and sprinkle nonpareils on top.
* You can freeze cookies, with or without frosting.
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