Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food Styling and Photos by Kelly Hong © 9-28-2016 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
These Date Nut Pinwheel Cookies are always included in my Christmas cookie gift giving basket every year. They are such a classic cookie and beloved by so many recipients, that you can't go wrong. I often bake the recipe during the year because everyone in my family loves them so. I often add some orange or lemon peel to the date nut filling during cooking to give it some extra flavor.
COOKIE RECIPE HELP
For the Dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Filling:
1 pound pitted dates
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
STEP I: MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH
1. Into a medium size mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened. Add the sugars at the side of the bowl, and beat until smooth and light.
This should take 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the egg and vanilla, scraping the bowl so the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Scrape the beaters and the contents of the bowl together with a rubber spatula before the next mixing step.
4. Add the flour / dry ingredients to the bowl, and stir them in, on the lowest speed, until just combined.
Make sure to scrape down the beaters and bowl so all of the ingredients are combined.
5. Gather and press the dough into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for several hours or overnight.
STEP II: PREPARE THE FILLING
1. Roughly chop the dates. Then add the dates, sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring up to a boil, stirring. Boil on low until the mixture thickens, add the chopped nuts.
3. Scrape hot filling into a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature. You can cover and refrigerate the filling overnight, if desired.
STEP III: FORM THE COOKIES AND FREEZE. HEAT THE OVEN, SLICE THE COOKIES, AND BAKE.
Form the cookies and freeze:
1. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll the dough out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.
Roll it to a rectangle a little less than 1/4-inch thick.
Dough will be approximately 12- x 18-inches when rolled out
2. Stir the filling.
Dot the cooled filling over the surface of the dough, then spread it with a large offset spatula, leaving a border free of filling on the long edges.
3. Use the parchment paper to help you roll the dough into a tight spiral.
Continue rolling, until you reach the end of the dough, then gently roll the log to even out the shape.
Brush any excess flour off the parchment and the roll, then wrap the roll tightly in the parchment, twisting the ends of the parchment to seal.
Place roll on the back of a large baking sheet and put it in the freezer for several hours, or overnight.
NOTE: DO NOT try to cut these cookies unless the dough roll is completely frozen.
If you do, your cookies will be distorted in shape.
Heat the oven, slice the cookies, and bake:
1. When the cookie roll is completely frozen, position an oven shelf to the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
2. Remove the cookie roll from the freezer and unwrap it.
Cut the roll in half and rewrap one half and return it to the freezer.
3. Slice the remaining roll into 3/8-inch slices and place them on the prepared pans, 2-inches apart.
If the slices are distorted, you can reshape them into rounds with your fingers.
4. Bake until the dough is light golden brown on the edges, about 12-14 minutes.
5. Let cookies cool on the pans for about three minutes, then carefully remove from the pan with a spatula, and cool completely on a rack.
6. Repeat cutting and baking the remaining cookie dough in the freezer.
Store baked cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 3-4 days.
For longer storage place cookies in a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to two months.
The filled and rolled cookie dough can be frozen for a month or more. Do not thaw before slicing and baking.