During the Christmas season, I'm going to highlight a few of my favorite Christmas goodies each week. There will be some old and some new recipes. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!
Skills Level: Intermediate
- 16 ounces finely chopped dates
- 2/3 c. white sugar
- 2/3 c. water
- 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 c. shortening
- 2 c. brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
- 4 1/2 c. flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
- Medium-size saucepan
- Wooden spoon
- Mixer with bowl
- Medium mixing bowl
- Wax or parchment paper
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie sheet
- Prepare the Date-Nut Filling:
Date Pinwheels make it onto my family's Christmas cookie tray each year. I'm not sure what makes them a "Christmas cookie" other than the fact that my mom only made this cookie around the holidays my entire life. I realize not everyone is into dates; even my husband would admit this cookie didn't sound appealing to him at first. Well, he is a Date Pinwheel convert, because he now requests these cookies each year. So, I will share with you the recipe that my mom passed down to me.
- In a medium-size saucepan, combine the finely chopped dates, 2/3 c. white sugar, and 2/3 c. water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cook over low heat; stirring constantly until thickened (about 4 minutes).
- Add chopped nuts, if desired.
- Chill the date mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Prepare the Cookie Dough:
- Cream shortening and 2 c. brown sugar in a mixer. (Mom's Tip #8)
- Beat in eggs and vanilla. (Mom's Tip #9)
- Combine flour and remaining dry ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) in a separate medium-size mixing bowl. (Mom's Tip #10)
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until combined. (You may need to mix the last bit of flour by hand.)
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Assemble and Bake the Cookies:
- Divide the dough in half.
- Tear off a sheet of wax paper approximately 18" wide, and lightly flower the surface.
- On the wax paper, roll out one half of dough into a rectangle about 1/4" to 1/2" thick. (I have found a thicker dough allows the cookie to hold together better.)
- Spread half of the date-nut filling on the dough up to the edges.
- Roll up the long edge of the rectangular dough into a jelly roll and wrap in the wax paper.
- Repeat the above steps for the second half of the dough and date-nut filling.
- Refrigerate the cookie rolls for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the cookie rolls are chilled, slice the rolls into 1/2" slices.
- Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Yields 6 dozen cookies.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.