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Friday, December 26, 2008

date nut pinwheel cookies

Growing up, we always went to my grandparents house for Christmas dinner. To this day, one of the things my sister and brother and I remember the most is the vast array of desserts that would follow the main meal. It was endless. Cakes and pies and puddings and cookies - oh, the cookies! Platters of them. My favorite as well as that of my sister was always the date nut pinwheels. Several years ago I picked up the tradition and started making them at christmas, so now it's something we once again look forward to every year (along with vanilla cornstarch pudding). Here's the recipe. You've got to try them, they're delicious.

Date Nut Pinwheel Cookies

1 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
date nut filling (see below)

Cream the shortening and sugars together.
Add eggs and beat until fluffy.
Sift together the flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. (I just use a whisk.)
Add dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until smooth.
Divide the dough into two, flatten each half slightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, probably 2 hours or more.
Roll out each half to 1/4 inch thick and spread with filling.
Roll the dough and filling up like a jelly roll, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Cut into slices 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick, place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet (or better yet, use parchment paper).
Bake at 375°F about 8-10 minutes, or until a golden brown.
This should make about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

1 1/2 cups ground dates
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup black walnuts

Combine dates, sugar, and water in saucepan and stirring constantly, cook until thick.
Remove from heat and add the nuts.
Allow to cool to room temperature before spreading on cookie dough.


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