1 8-ounce package chopped dates
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup hot water
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine dates, sugar and hot water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts. Set aside to cool.
Cream together brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Stir into creamed mixture, and then add vanilla. Mix well.
Divide dough into thirds. Roll each into a 12-inch square on a piece of wax paper. Spread each square with 1/3 of the date mixture. Lifting up an edge of the wax paper, gently peel off dough and roll into a jellyroll-type roll. Wrap the 3 rolls in wax paper and chill in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each roll into 1/4-inch thick slices and place 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 6-dozen cookies.