Sunday, October 12, 2008

Me Me's Date Nut Pinwheel Cookies

Recipe from the kitchen of Hazel Cooksey, Grandmother of Alice Wootton and Husband-Tested many times!

I think I acquired my love for cooking in my grandmother's kitchen. I called her "Me Me." I miss her sweet southern drawl and her warm personality. When I make these cookies (usually during the holidays) I think of her. My brother, who usually doesn't eat sweets, asks me each year to make him a batch for his lunchbox. This takes time to make, (I usually make the dough on one day and the filling on another) but the great thing about this recipe is that you can freeze the dough after forming the "pinwheel" and when you're ready to bake a batch, you just take it out of the freezer and slice the dough to make the number of cookies you need. This is great when you have last minute guests and then you can just pop them in the oven and have hot fresh cookies on the table in just minutes. Make a few batches and give the frozen dough as gifts along with the baking directions. All of the ingredients can be found at Lost River Market & Deli.


4 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten

In large bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon together. In another bowl, mix together the butter and the sugars. Add the beaten eggs to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture. Divide dough in half. Place each portion of dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a thick rectangle. Wrap tightly and chill for several hours. While dough is chilling, make filling.


1 ½ chopped dates
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
½ cup chopped pecans or other nuts

Combine the first three filling ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in the nuts. Cool completely at room temperature.


On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough portion to about ½ thick rectangle. Spread filling on top. Filling will not be a thick layer.
(This next step is the hard part because even though the dough is chilled, it will still be quite soft.)
Roll the dough pinwheel style starting at the long end of the rectangle.
(I use a pastry scraper to help me lift the dough for rolling.)
Use a pastry brush to remove excess flour.
Place the roll onto wax paper and wrap tightly by twisting the ends of the paper. Place in the freezer.

Remove cookie dough from freezer and then from wax paper. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into ¼- ½ inch slices. (Try to keep slices uniform for even baking.) Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375F degrees for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on cookie sheet. Continue to cool on a

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