The recipe for these Date Nut Pinwheels was handed down to me by my mother, who received it from her mother-in-law (my paternal grandmother). Growing up, they were one of my family’s traditional Christmas cookies; now my children look forward to them each Christmas.
Although they may appear difficult or time-consuming to make, they are actually rather simple. Not an experienced baker? Here are a few photos and tips to get you started:
Start off by preparing the dough and the filling, following the recipe below.
After chilling the dough, divide it into two equal portions. On a floured silpat or waxed paper, roll or press one portion of dough into a 9×12-inch rectangle. I like to use my hands, coated with a bit of flour, to gently press the dough to the right size. (1)
Next, spread half of the cooled filling over the pressed-out dough. This is perhaps the trickiest part of making Date Nut Pinwheels–be careful not to tear or “stretch” the dough while spreading the filling! I prefer to use floured fingertips to very gently spread the filling (2) to within half an inch of the edge of the dough. (3)
Then, starting with a long side, begin rolling into a log. (4) The ends may be a bit uneven; just tuck them in to seal in the filling. Wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil.
Repeat with the second half of the dough and filling. Freeze overnight, or until you are ready to bake them. Lots of convenience here!
When you are ready to bake, slice the frozen cookies about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick. (5) If the slices aren’t quite round, it just takes a second to reshape them after slicing.
Bake and enjoy!
Date Nut Pinwheels
- 1 7 oz. pkg. dates. chopped
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 c. chopped walnuts
- 1/2 c. margarine
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 c. flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- Simmer dates, water, and sugar for 5 minutes. Add walnuts. Cool.
- Mix dough together; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
- Roll half on floured wax paper into 9x12 rectangle. Spread with filling and roll, starting from a long side. Repeat with remaining dough. Wrap cookie rolls in aluminum foil; freeze overnight.
- Slice frozen cookie rolls into ¼ in. thick slices. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.