These Date and walnut pinwheel cookies are probably some of my favorite cookies. Buttery soft dough, with an easy homemade date and walnut filling. They are easy to make and so addictingly delicious! You can make extra and freeze the dough for later when the sugar cravings hit. Nothing can beat freshly-baked cookies.
I think dates are not being given enough credit and I don’t know why. They are super delicious, nutritious, and can be eaten in many ways. High in fiber, antioxidants, good for the brain, and excellent natural sweetener(1) makes these little gems the perfect addition to your pantry. Dates can be eaten raw as a snack, cooked in sweets, but also added to savory dishes. You can also find dates in the form of syrup, paste, or the most common as whole dry fruit.
For this Date and Walnut pinwheel cookies recipe, I am using dates by making them into a jam mixed with walnuts, and a little bit of honey. If you are avoiding sugar, eating dates is a great substitution. This filling recipe can be also used in the place of a jam, on a toast, and in many other baking recipes and desserts. It keeps well in the fridge for a long time too.
How to make this Pinwheel cookies?
Note: For exact measurements and directions see the recipe card below!
To make the dough you’ll need just flour, butter, sugar, an egg, and a bit of baking soda and salt. First, beat the soft butter and sugar till mixed, then add the egg, beat more, and then add the salt and baking powder. Lastly, gradually add the flour, I like to add a heaping tablespoon at a time. The dough is ready when it doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.
Wrap the dough in a plastic film in the shape of a rough flat rectangular about an inch thick. This will make it easier to roll the dough after it’s been in the fridge for about 30 min – 1 hour. You can also leave it in the fridge overnight or freeze it and use it later.
While the dough is chilling make the Date filling. In a saucepan combine the chopped dates, water, and honey. Cook on medium heat stirring constantlytill it starts to bubble, then lower the heat to low and continue mixing till it thickens, this will happen fast, about 8 minutes. Once thickened remove from the heat and fold in the chopped walnuts. Then set aside to cool before spreading the filling into the dough.
When ready to use, roll the dough into a thin rectangular shape about 14″ by 12″(35.5-30.5cm) and 1/8″-1/4″(2-4mm) thickness. If the dough has been in the fridge for longer or frozen, let it sit on the counter a bit to soften up so it’s easier to work with.
When the filling has cooled spread a good amount on top but leaving about an inch off the edges. Roll starting from the wider side sealing the edges at the end and then rolling back and forth a bit more till it becomes about 22″(56cm) long log.
Then cut the log into two halves and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While the dough is chilling preheat the oven to 350F(180C), line a baking tray with parchment paper.
After 30 minutes take the cookie dough out and slice about 1″(2.5cm) pinwheels. Arrange them on the tray while leaving about 2″ between each cookie. Brush them with egg wash and bake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes.
When ready transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy.
Can you freeze the cookies?
Yes! These cookies are perfect to make a big batch of and freeze to have for later. You can either freeze the dough into a rectangular 1″(2.5cm) shape or make the roll, freeze it, and then just slice the cookies and bake them when needed. I haven’t tried freezing already baked cookies, but if you do try, let me know. I will update the notes when I test this option.
Honestly, I can’t stop making these cookies! Everyone loves them and we just can’t get enough of them. So, don’t skip this one, I think it will also become your favorite Date and walnut pinwheel cookies recipe, once you’ve tried them.
More cookie recipe ideas!
AMAZING GINGER CHOCOLATE ORANGE COOKIES – Another great cookie recipe! Very different flavor profile, but so delicious too! It has the perfect balance of candied ginger, chocolate, and orange flavor; a bit chewy, soft, but with a crunchy exterior.
RUGELACH COOKIES – Flaky, perfectly sweet, and easily made these rugelach cookies are the bomb!! Give ’em a try and you can thank me later.
The best Date and walnut pinwheel cookies
- 115 g Butter 1/2 cup
- 200 g Granulated Sugar 1 cup
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 t Baking Soda
- 1/4 t Salt
- 260 g AP Flour 2 cups
Date and Walnut Filling
- 250 g Pitted Dry Dates
- 1/2 cup Water
- 85 g Honey 1/4 cup
- 100 g Walnuts, chopped 1 cup
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Water
- Make the filling.
- In a food processor or by hand chop the dates into smaller pieces.
- In a saucepan add the chopped dates, water, and honey. Cook for about 8 minutes on medium heat till bubbly then turn the heat to low. Stir frequently, it will cook fast, so be careful not to burn it. Once thick, remove from heat, and fold in the chopped walnuts. Let it cool before spreading onto the dough.
- Make the dough.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachement or hand mixer add the soft butter and sugar. Beat till mixed.
- Add the egg and beat again.
- Then add the baking soda and salt.
- Lastly, gradually add the flour using a spoon. Beat on low to medium speed till all the flour is mixed in. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl to assure all the ingredients are incorporated. The dough is ready when it doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a clean surface and shape it into a roughly rectangular shape. Wrap it in a plastic film and transfer it to the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Note: At this stage, you can leave it in the fridge overnight and bake the next day, or keep it in the freezer for longer.
- Once the dough has been chilled transfer it to a floured surface and using a rolling pin roll it into a rectangular in size about 14"x12"(35.5-30.5cm), and 1/8"-1/4"(2-4mm) thickness.
- Spread the chilled date filling on top (you will have some extra left), leaving off about an inch on each end.
- Start rolling tightly(but not too tight) the dough from the wider side into a log. Then seal the edge and roll the log back and forth with your hands till it's about 22"(56cm) long. Cut it in half and wrap each part with plastic film. Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F(180C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Take one of the logs from the fridge, while leaving the other one inside to stay cold and firm. Slice it into about 1"(2.5cm) pinwheel cookies. Place them on the baking tray leaving about 2"(5cm) between each cookie. You'll have about 24 cookies. I baked mine in two turns. Brush them with egg wash, by whisking one egg with a tablespoon of water.Bake for about 20 minutes or till golden brown on top. Transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy.