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pinwheel cookies |
pinwheel cookies are as much a part of holiday tradition at my
parentsí house as Christmas trees and stockings Ė my momís been
making them for as far back as I can remember. Though these cookies are
a bit more work than the drop cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal, and the
like) that youíre probably used to making, the great part about these
is that most of the work involved can be dealt with far in advance of
holiday time. Just make the dough, spread it with filling, and roll it
all up in a pretty spiraled log. The log can then be tossed in the
freezer, and sliced and baked up as needed later on.
8 oz. pitted dates
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup walnuts
Ĺ cup salted butter (1 stick), warmed to room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
Combine the dates and the water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture
to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer for
about five minutes or so, giving it a few stirs from time to time.
While the dates are cooking on the stove, youíll need to chop the
walnuts. You can use whatever method you like, but hereís one that I
find works nicely: Take a paper towel. The good thing about using the
paper towel is that itíll absorb some of that nut oil. Tear off a
piece of cling wrap thatís just a little big bigger than the towel.
Place the cling wrap on the countertop, and the paper towel on top of
that. Spread the nuts in a thin layer along one half of the paper towel.
Fold the paper towel and cling wrap in half, covering the nuts. You can
now use a rolling pin to crush the nuts by moving back and forth gently
over the cling wrap. The nuts should be crushed fairly finely, though
NOT to the point where you find yourself with a big pile of powder.
When the dates are nice and smushy, remove the lid, and cook off any
excess water (if necessary). Mash the softened dates with the back of a
spoon, until youíve created a mixture that has a sort of paste-like
Remove the pot from the stovetop and stir in the nuts. Let the mixture
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