It's a Cookie, It's a Pie, It's Completely Adorable: Date Nut Cookie Pies

I wish that Samantha Seneviratne had included a photo of her "Date Nut Cookie Pies" in The New Sugar & Spice. If she had, I might have made them a lot sooner, because they are so dang cute. These bite-sized hand pies have a rich pastry surrounding a spiced filling of dates and walnuts.
You make the pastry in a food processor by combining flour with powdered sugar and salt; pulsing in cubed butter (no temperature is specified, but I assumed I should use chilled butter); and incorporating egg yolks and heavy cream. I chilled the dough for a few hours and used the down time to make the filling.

The filling also requires a food processor. You simmer Medjool dates in water until the dates are soft; transfer the dates and water to a food processor and add pecans, walnuts, honey, orange zest, freshly ground cardamom, cloves, and salt; and process into a chunky paste.
I rolled out the dough to a thickness of an eighth of an inch and cut out circles 2.25-inches in diameter. The recipe says that you can re-roll the dough once, but I re-rolled scraps multiple times to use up every last bit. I put a bit of the cooled date filling on a circle of dough; brushed a little cream around the edges of the dough;  placed another circle of dough on top; and crimped the edges with a fork to seal. I chilled the assembled cookies briefly before brushing the tops with cream, sprinkling on some coarse sugar, and putting them in the oven to bake. I made a double batch of dough and filling, and got a total of 32 cookie pies -- with some filling left over.
I was delighted with the cookies. The pastry was tender and flaky, but sturdy enough that the cookies were easy to handle and store. The pastry was cooked through and beautifully golden brown on the bottom and around the edges. I tried to stuff the cookies with as much filling as possible, and as you can see in the photo above, there were no gaps or empty space inside. While the title of the recipe references both dates and nuts, neither was as prominent in the finished cookie as the trio of cardamom, cloves, and orange zest that seasoned the filling. The flavor profile of the filling was unfamiliar to me, but delicious. My husband said sua sponte that the cookies reminded him of a Fig Newton. While I didn't agree, his comment echoed the sentiment in the recipe headnote, which says that the cookie pies are "reminiscent of those fig cookies you had as a kid-raised to the third power."

And the cookies were freaking adorable. I loved the fact that these were bite-sized pies, which made them so much more memorable and distinctive than a regular cookie or a bar. You can obviously adjust the composition and level of spices in the filling if you want to stay on the beaten path. But I enjoyed the novelty of this cookie's form and flavors.

Recipe: "Date Nut Cookie Pies" from The New Sugar & Spice by Samantha Seneviratne, recipe available here at