In a mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add 1-1/3 cups sugar, soda and salt; beat well. Add eggs and honey; beat till well combined. Beat or stir in flour till combined. Divide in half.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough into 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into rounds, using a 2-1/2-inch cookie or biscuit cutter. Place the rounds 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the date filling into the center or each round.
Roll and cut out the remaining dough. Using a 3/4-inch cutter, cut a hole in the center of these rounds, if you like. Place over cutouts with date filling and press edges with fork to seal.
Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 7 minutes or till edges are firm and bottoms are browned. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 30 cookies.
In a medium saucepan, combine water, 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch. Add dates. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; let the filling cool.