Old-fashioned Trilbies (Date-Filled Cookies)

Trilbies (Date-filled Cookies) on baking sheet

My holiday cookie baking has begun. Today I made a hundred-year-old recipe for Trilbies. They are a lovely date-filled cookie that brings back warm memories of day gone by.

Here’s the original recipe:

recipe of Trilbies Cookies
Source: Ladies’ Union Cook Book compiled by the Ladies of the West Concord Union Church, Concord Junction, Massachusetts (1921}

A hundred years ago recipes sometimes called for sour milk. Back then much milk was not pasteurized and it soured after a few days. This sour milk was sometimes used in recipes. Today milk can be soured by adding a little vinegar to it.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Trilbies (Data-Filled Cookies)

  • Servings: Approximately 40 Cookies
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Cookies

1/2 cup sour milk (Make milk sour by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar to the milk)

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400° F. Put the milk in a cup or small bowl. Stir in the vinegar to sour the milk. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Stir in the sour milk, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Then add the flour and rolled oats; stir until combined. On well-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter or small glass. (The cookie cutter I used was 2 inches in diameter.)  Place half the circles on greased baking sheets.  Place a heaping teaspoon of date filling (see recipe below) on each circle and spread to the edges of the cookies; put a second cookie on top of each date-filling topped cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Date-Filling

1 pound chopped dates

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

Put the chopped dates, sugar, and water into a saucepan and stir to mix; put on medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently until the dates are soft and the filling a nice consistency for the cookie filling (5-10 minutes). Cool slightly before using as a filling.

http://www.ahundredyearsago.com

23 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Trilbies (Date-Filled Cookies)

  1. My mother always made date-filled cookies for Christmas, but I don’t think the dough contained oats. And she want around the edges with a fork to seal so the filling didn’t escape. I loved them!

    1. I also was surprised that the recipe called for oats. The oats in the dough made it a little more difficult to cut out the circles for the cookies – but I just pressed firmly. The oats did add a nice flavor and texture to the cookies.

      Prior to making these cookies, I asked friends and family whether they thought I should seal the edges – since the recipe didn’t say to do it. And, I wondered if I sealed the edges if I would need to cut a slit in the top cookie to let the steam escape. In the end, I decided to just follow the recipe and not seal the edges – though that may not be what the recipe author implicitly intended.

        1. Good to know. If I make them again, I might try sealing the edges and cutting a slit in the top – though they turned out fine without sealing the edges.

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