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Old-Fashioned Heritage Rolled Pinwheel Cookies With Dates and Nuts

I grew up watching and helping my mother make homemade cookies. They were always in our school lunch boxes. Here, I share some family faves.

Rolled Date Nut Cookies

Rolled Date Nut Cookies

Sweet Treats

This is another old-fashioned cookie coming from a file that my mother had kept. The recipe originates back to some saved recipes from her mother, my beloved grandma.

Most of them are jotted down on scraps of paper and are handwritten. Many of them contain only the list of ingredients and assume the person making the recipe would know how to proceed.

In some cases, the paper scraps are crumbling, and amounts can no longer be determined. The ones that are spattered the most were probably family favorites and attest to them being often handled and used as a reference when baking or cooking.

As I try out some of these recipes and share them online, it is with a nod to saving some of the rich heritage of these treats, as well as trying to preserve some of the flavors from the past. This endevaor has become a personal journey of discovery and remembrance.

Ingredients for Rolled Date Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening, (I used Crisco)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups dates
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup nut meats, ground
Gathering ingredients for these rolled date nut cookies

Gathering ingredients for these rolled date nut cookies

Instructions for Making the Rolled Date Cookies

  1. Beat together the shortening, brown sugar, and eggs until smooth.
  2. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and flour to the mixture, and blend until well combined.
  3. Chill the dough in refrigerator until well chilled.
  4. When the dough is chilled, prepare the date/nut paste.
  5. Put the dates, granulated sugar, water, and ground nuts into a saucepan on top of the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce while stirring until the mixture turns into a thick paste. Cool slightly.
  6. Divide the dough into three or more parts and roll out onto a well-floured board to about a 1/4 inch thickness or a little less. Try to make the edges of the rolled out dough come out even and squared.
  7. Spread the date/nut mixture onto the dough and roll the dough jellyroll fashion, crimping the edges together.
  8. Continue until all of the dough and date/nut paste is used up.
  9. Chill overnight. (I put the rolls onto waxed paper and even stacked them on top of each other with waxed paper in between.)
  10. The next day, when ready to bake, cut the rolls into approximately 1/4 inch slices and put onto a greased cookie sheet.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until browned. (The hand-written recipe called for 12 to 15 minutes, but with our oven, I found that to be too much time. So be your own judge, and watch your oven time on your first batch of cookies, and let that be your guide.)
  12. Cool on a wire rack.
Slicing the cookie rolls prior to baking

Slicing the cookie rolls prior to baking

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Rolled date nut cookies being cooled on wire rack.

Rolled date nut cookies being cooled on wire rack.

This old fashioned cookie recipe makes a large batch of cookies depending upon how you roll them. The way I made them amounted to slightly over 11 dozen cookies that were an inch to an inch and a half in size.

If you want larger cookies, and you have rolled out a rectangular size cookie batter as I did (refer to the photos above) then just start rolling them from the smallest sized edge towards the other. Your cookie will end up being a much larger cookie than if you start rolling it from the largest margin across.

I used chopped nuts instead of ground nuts. While good...the next time I bake these cookies, I will use ground nuts as the recipe called for, because it will be easier to slice the cookies prior to baking if the nuts are smaller.

These cookies taste even better over time! They freeze well.

If your family likes sweet treats that have some nutritional value, the dates and nuts add some wholesome goodness to this old fashioned cookie recipe that dates back to my grandmother's time.

With my German heritage coming from my mother's side of the family, no meal was complete without some type of sweet treat to finish it off. Lunch boxes typically had some cookies packaged up in waxed paper along with a sandwich, piece of fruit, and thermos of milk. Desserts after dinner often included a slice of homemade pie, cake, or more cookies.

Thus baking this old fashioned heritage cookie brings back some fond memories of the good old days. I hope that you enjoy this family recipe of mine. While it takes some time to complete, because of the time factored in for the chilling of the dough, it is worth it in the end!

I wish that I could share a couple of these delicious cookies with you right now!

Cup of coffee with cookies on my grandparent's china

Cup of coffee with cookies on my grandparent's china

Please Rate These Rolled Date Nut Cookies. Thanks!

Ready for some baking?

Ready for some baking?

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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