3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups pitted, chopped dates
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark raisins
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
For dough: With mixer on medium, beat shortening, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and creamy.
Blend together flour, baking powder and salt; stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Mixture will be slightly stiff.
Refrigerate dough at least one hour.
While dough is chilling, prepare date filling. Finely cut up or grind dates. Combine dates, sugar, raisins, orange peel and water in a saucepan. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, 20 to 25 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Stir in nuts. Let cool. Add nuts. (This makes about 2 1/3 cups filling.)
Date-filled Treasures: Roll out chilled dough to 1/8 inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut dough with a scalloped round cookie cutter, cutting 2 scallops for each filled cookie.
Place bottom pieces on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drop 1 rounded teaspoon of date filling on each bottom cookie. Cover with top cookie piece and press edges together to seal in filling.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown. Transfer from baking sheet to racks to cool.
Yield: About 5 dozen cookies.