To Make Ahead: Prepare the dough (Step 2), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Financial advisor Linda Croley was inspired by childhood memories of a family treat when she created these peanut butter-date cookies. "I get a great feeling when I bite into these cookies and think of my family who are around me today, and those whose memories I'll always cherish," says Croley. Once you try them, you may never make an ordinary peanut butter cookie again.
Preheat oven to 375degreesF.
Beat brown sugar, butter, peanut butter and cinnamon in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; beat until well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in dates and walnuts. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before baking.
Use a small scoop (1 3/8- to 1 1/2-inch) and drop balls of dough 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet. (If you do not have a scoop, shape the dough by hand into 1- to 1 1/4-inch balls.) Gently press each ball to flatten slightly.
Bake the cookies until the edges are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To decorate: Place white chocolate and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on Medium, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. To drizzle, dip a fork in the chocolate then wave it over a cookie to create a lacy finish (see Variations). Let the chocolate set for at least 1 hour. Variations: Instead of drizzling, dip the top side of the cooled cookies in melted white or dark chocolate and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Tip: Most brands of white chocolate chips are actually not white chocolate at all; they're called "white morsels" and contain no chocolate. We like Sunspire (made without partially hydrogenated oil), found in natural-foods stores or online at sunspire.com, and the Albertsons/ Shaw's store brand, Essensia. Eight ounces chopped pure white chocolate can be used in place of the chips.
Per cookie: 114 calories; 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g mono unsaturated fat); 9 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 55 mg sodium; 56 mg potassium