Step back in time with Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies. Handmade from scratch, these delightful pinwheels feature a delicate sugar cookie dough wrapped around a rich date nut filling. Once sliced and baked, each cookie reveals a beautiful spiral of sweetness. Perfect for nostalgic bakers or anyone craving a taste of vintage charm.
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Why You Should Try This Date Pinwheel Cookies Recipe
If you love cookies, these old-fashioned date pinwheel cookies will delight your whole family. They're crisp, crunchy, tender, and gooey - all in one bite! And they're fun for your kids to look at!
Your patience in waiting for the dough to chill will be rewarded with super delicious cookies. Plus, they are wonderful Christmas cookies with a nostalgic touch and taste with their old-time flavors.
Ingredients You Will Need
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe for date pinwheel cookies. Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.
For the cookie dough:
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
For the date filling:
- Granulated sugar
- Orange rind
- Chopped walnuts
How to Make Old-Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies
If you are not used to making cookies, a recipe with several steps may seem a bit intimidating. However, making these delicious date nut pinwheel cookies is not difficult. Here are the basics of the instructions:
To make the cookie dough:
- Using a mixer, cream together shortening, softened butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.
- Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
To make the date filling:
- Place dates, sugar, and orange rind with some water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until you have a paste.
- Mix in the nuts and allow to cool.
Cookie assembly and baking:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- On floured wax paper, roll out the dough to a 14x10-inch rectangle.
- Spread the date mixture on the dough and roll it into a log jelly roll style.
- Wrap the log in the wax paper and refrigerate.
- Slice the roll into ¼-inch portions.
- Place the slices on baking sheets and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Cool the cookies on wire racks.
Use your hands to square up your dough edges to give you a nicely shaped rectangle.
The dough will tend to crack if it's too cold, so let it warm up slightly to room temperature before spreading the filling. If you have made the filling ahead of time, it also should be at room temperature to make it easier to spread.
Your slices will probably not be shaped perfectly, so use your hands to round them out.
For the holidays, sprinkle with colored sugar for a festive look.
Pinwheel Cookies - Recipe Variations
This date nut pinwheel cookies recipe can be varied. Here are some suggestions:
- If you are not that fond of dates, use cranberries instead.
- You could substitute pecans for the walnuts.
- Instead of vanilla, vary the flavor with cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix.
How to Serve Date Pinwheel Cookies
This recipe for date nut pinwheel cookies gives you cookies that are delicious and can be eaten as a snack, with a cup of coffee or tea, or even for breakfast.
You can enjoy these spirals of buttery cookie and sweet date filling for dessert – top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
They make a pretty addition to your holiday cookie tray.
How to Store Date Pinwheels
Refrigerator: Store your baked cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezer: These baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Separate your cookie layers with waxed or parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
Make Ahead and Freeze: Follow the recipe up to the point of making a log. Wrap the log well and freeze for up to 6 weeks. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge before slicing and baking.
More Dessert Recipes
Date Pinwheel Cookies
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup shortening
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dates chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon orange rind
- To prepare the dough, cream together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to incorporate. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- To prepare the date filling, bring the dates, sugar, and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the dates have cooked down and the mixture is paste-like, mix in the chopped nuts and remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool.
- On lightly floured wax paper, roll out the chilled dough to form a 14x10-inch rectangle. Spread the cooled date mixture on the dough to within about ½-inch of the edges. Starting at one of the long ends, carefully roll the dough into a log. Wrap the rolled dough in the wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the roll into ¼-inch slices. Place on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.