Date Pinwheel Cookies Recipe
Thinking about Date pinwheel cookies gives me a feeling of nostalgia. My Amish mom used to bake these date and nut cookies every year for Christmas. And I had forgotten about them until recently when I saw a request for the recipe.
I’m not sure how I could have forgotten about this Old Fashioned Date Cookies Recipe? Because they are seriously one of the most delicious Christmas cookies. They’re so soft with a little added crunch. And wow! I am in love with that amazing date and nut paste that’s rolled up between the dough!
Date Paste Cookies
What are date pinwheel cookies or date paste cookies? They are rolled date cookies that are made with a simple dough of basic pantry ingredients and a date paste filling.
The date paste is created by cooking down the water, sugar, and dates. And it’s soo yummy!
The cookie dough gets rolled out and spread with the delicious date paste. Roll up the dough jelly-roll style, and you have cookie batter with a magical swirl of date and nut filling. The nuts also add a little extra crunch. (Although, you can omit these if you have a nut allergy or they are simply not your thing.)
Date Roll Cookies for Christmas Cookie Plates
I have fond memories of times spent in the kitchen with my mom and two sisters. A week or two before Christmas, we set aside a day or two to bake cookies. And we baked lots of Christmas cookies, probably about ten different kinds. Leaves were added to our extendable kitchen table, and we covered it with tablecloths and brown paper bags to place our cookies on to cool.
We mixed a bunch of cookies and had a lot of fun baking and decorating them. Our table full of holiday cookies looked amazing, and the kitchen smelled even better.
After they were cooled, we filled lots of plates with an assortment of Amish cookies. And it was our tradition to deliver plates of Christmas cookies to all of our neighbors the next day. We had several older widow ladies in our neighborhood. And we sang a Christmas carol or two for each one of them when we delivered the plates. Of course, they were delighted!
How to make the Date Paste for this Date Pinwheel Cookies Recipe
I bought the packages of whole dates (you will need two of the 8 oz. packages, although I did not use all of them). Chop them with a food chopper or a kitchen shears. I used my trusty little Ninja chopper, although it makes it work hard, and you don’t want to put too many in at a time. I’ve never made these with the pre-chopped and floured dates, and I’m not sure if they would turn out the same? So I recommend using whole pitted dates.
Combine the water, sugar, and chopped dates in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook it over medium/low heat, stirring occasionally, until pasty and slightly thickened. I cooked mine for about 12 minutes. Set the date filling aside to cool.
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Rolled Date Cookies
To make the date cookie dough, cream the lard/butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the dry ingredients and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Chill the dough for 30 minutes to an hour.
Divide the dough in half and roll one half out on a floured surface. Roll it into a rectangle to about 1/4 inch thick. Make sure to have plenty of flour underneath the dough so that it doesn’t stick to the counter. (Or you can roll it out onto parchment paper.) Spread half of the date paste evenly over the dough. Roll it up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side, to create a log.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough and date filling.
Wrap the logs securely in parchment paper and plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. With a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs into about 1/4″ thick slices. Bake them on greased cookie sheets for about 12 minutes.
Can I freeze Date Pinwheel Cookie Dough?
Yes, you can freeze Rolled Date Cookie Dough. Wrap the logs in several layers of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil (or an airtight container). And it should be good in the freezer for up to a month.
Remove the logs from the freezer, thaw enough to be able to slice them, and bake.
But, you can also freeze the cookies after they are baked. Place them into an airtight container and they should last in the freezer for at least a month or two. Years ago, before I had four grown kids eating all my cookies, I had Christmas cookies in the freezer for up to four months, and they were still good.
I always freeze any cookies that we won’t eat within a couple of days because it keeps them fresh.
My teenage son has approved this chewy date pinwheel cookie recipe. I just baked a batch, and he kept coming back for more ;).
More Amish Christmas Recipes for you to try…
Date and Nut Pinwheel Cookies, Amish Recipe
- 1 1/2 c. whole pitted and chopped dates
- 1 c. water
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 c. lard
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 c. white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
To make the date paste:
- Combine chopped dates, water, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium/low heat until thickened, stirring occasionally. Mine took about 12 minutes to get the desired consistency.
- Stir in the nuts and set aside to cool.
To make the cookie dough:
- Beat the lard, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Combine the flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. And add this to the wet mixture. Mix only enough to combine.
- Wrap the dough and place it into the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.
To make the pinwheels:
- Divide the dough in half. Dust your countertop with flour (or roll onto parchment paper) and roll the one half into a rectangle about 1/4" thick.
- Spoon half of the date paste onto the dough and spread evenly to all edges.
- Starting with the long side, roll up like a jelly roll.
- Repeat the process with the second half of the dough and date filling.
- Place the rolls onto parchment paper and wrap securely. Chill them in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Remove well-chilled rolls from the refrigerator, and with a sharp serrated knife, cut them into about 1/2" slices.
- Bake on greased cookie sheets for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them sit on the tray for a minute before removing them to a wire rack to cool.