Monday, December 26, 2011

Date Pinwheels

This is hands-down the best cookie I've made this year. Worth the trouble!
Date Pinwheels  
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 c.)
2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 3/4 c. chopped dates
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1/8 t. salt
1 1/2 cups finely diced pecans or walnuts

Cream  the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Chill the dough till it's firm enough to roll out, at least 1 hour.

While the dough is chilling, make the filling. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the dates, sugar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and boil the dates gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened to about the consistency of very soft jam. Stir in the finely diced nuts, and set aside.

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into a 9" x 12", 1/4"-thick rectangle. Spread half the filling over the entire surface of the dough; the filling is sticky and stiff, but if you keep wetting your fingers, you can push and spread it around without too much trouble. Roll the dough up, lengthwise, to make a log. Wrap each log in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for several hours, or overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut the log into 1/3" slices, and place the slices 1 1/2" apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 for10-11 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

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