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 soft and buttery cookies 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 such as Mint Surprise Cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Sand Tart Cookies, etc.
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!
Ingredients for Date Paste
- Whole Pitted and Chopped Dates:
- Dates infuse natural sweetness and a delightful chewiness to create a harmonious date mixture. Medjool dates are an ideal choice for lovers of dried fruits and those seeking a flavorful date-nut pinwheel experience.
- A cup of water is crucial for soaking the dates, contributing to the creation of a sticky, sumptuous mixture, ensuring moist and flavorful cookies. A little water goes a long way in enhancing the overall texture.
- Granulated Sugar:
- As a sweet companion to the dates, granulated sugar adds a perfect level of sweetness, balancing the flavors and providing a touch of indulgence. Ideal for those with a sweet tooth or celebrating the holiday season.
- Pecans or Walnuts:
- The addition of crunchy pecans or walnuts introduces a delightful nuttiness, creating a satisfying texture in the date-nut filling. Perfect for those who appreciate a nutty twist in their cookies.
Ingredients for Cookie Dough
- A cup of butter, at room temperature, lends its richness, imparting a luxurious and buttery quality to the dough. Essential for achieving that perfect, decadent flavor in your date nut pinwheel cookies.
- Lard or Shortening:
- Whether you choose lard or shortening, this ingredient contributes to the tenderness and flakiness of the cookie dough. An ideal choice for those who desire a buttery dough with a delicate texture.
- Light Brown Sugar:
- Brown sugar brings moisture and a caramel-like richness, elevating the flavor profile of the dough. Perfect for creating a delightful, sweet, and complex taste.
- White Sugar:
- A quarter cup of white sugar complements the sweetness in the cookie dough, providing an additional layer of flavor. A touch of white sugar enhances the overall taste, creating a balanced sweetness.
- Eggs contribute to the structure of the dough, ensuring a velvety texture that holds the date-nut filling perfectly. Ideal for those who appreciate cookies with a rich and moist interior.
- All-Purpose Flour:
- Flour forms the base of the cookie dough, creating a sturdy yet tender canvas for the date-nut pinwheel masterpiece. A must-have for achieving the perfect consistency and structure.
- A teaspoon of salt enhances the overall flavor profile by balancing the sweetness, adding a subtle savory note and a well-rounded taste.
- Baking Soda:
- A teaspoon of baking soda acts as a leavening agent, contributing to the rise and fluffiness of the cookies and providing a light and airy texture.
- Ground Cinnamon:
- The addition of ground cinnamon introduces warmth and a hint of spice to the cookie dough. Perfect for those who enjoy the aromatic and festive touch of cinnamon in their treats.
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How to Make the Date Paste for Date Nut Pinwheel Cookies
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 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. I recommend using whole pitted dates.
Combine the water, sugar, and chopped dates in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Cook the date mixture 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.
Rolled Date Cookies
To make the date cookie dough, cream the lard/butter and sugars with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then gradually add them to the creamed wet mixture. Mix only to combine.
Cover the dough and chill it for at least 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 cookie roll logs securely in parchment paper and plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Place the chilled cookie logs onto a cutting board, and with a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs into about 1/4" thick slices.
Bake the sliced cookies on greased baking sheets for approximately 10-12 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 and nut pinwheel cookie recipe. I just baked a batch, and he kept coming back for more 😉 .
I hope you enjoy this old-fashioned recipe for Amish date nut pinwheels cookies. They are a great addition to holiday cookie trays.
If you try them, I would love it if you left a comment and star rating below. Thank you! Happy Baking!
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 or shortening
- 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.1 1/2 c. whole pitted and chopped dates, 1 c. water, 1 c. granulated sugar
- Stir in the nuts and set aside to cool.1/2 c. pecans or walnuts
To make the cookie dough:
- Beat the lard, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy.1/2 c. butter (1 stick), 1/2 c. lard or shortening, 2 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. white sugar
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.3 eggs
- Combine the flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. And add this to the wet mixture. Mix only enough to combine.4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 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.