Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 3 - Date Nut Pinwheels

12 Days of Cookies - Day 3

I've been making these Date Pinwheels for years. They're a family favorite and a favorite on the cookie trays we give away every Christmas.

Before you say you don't like dates, give this recipe a try. It's fruity, chewy and crisp all at the same time. They're delicious and the flavor improves the next day. This recipe breaks my butter rule. Butter would make the cookies brown too much and dough too soft.

Date Nut Pinwheels
4 dozen

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1-1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon

1 (8 ounce) pkg. chopped pitted dates
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1 c. finely chopped pecans

Combine dates, sugar, and water in a med. saucepan. Cook over med. heat 3-5 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove filling from heat; stir in pecans. Let cool.

Cream shortening; gradually add sugar, beating well at med. speed of an electric mixer. Add egg, and beat well. Combine flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Shape dough into a ball.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface; rollin to a 16" x 8" rectangle. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 1/2" margin on all sides. Starting at long side, carefully roll dough, jellyroll fashion; pinch seam and ends of roll to seal. Wrap dough in wax paper, and chill at least 1 hour.

Unwrap roll, and cut into 1/4" slices. Place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let sit on cookie tray for a minute then remove to wire rack.


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Day 2 - Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

12 Days of Cookies - Day Two
Edited to add: It's important to note that your cookies will only be as good as your ingredients. If your cranberries are stale...dried and sugary, you won't get good flavor from them. Additionally, if you sub out margarine or shortening for the butter, your cookie may spread too much.

Mmmm....this is a good any time of year cookie. The drizzle of white chocolate takes them over the top. Enjoy!
Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen.
Total time: about an hour

2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. table salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
3 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. dried cranberries (or dried cherries, chopped)
6 oz. good quality white chocolate, chopped or white chocolate chips (Ghiradelli)

Extra white chocolate for drizzling or dipping.

Whisk together:

flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter, both sugars, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Add flour mixture; stir with a rubber scraper or wooden spoon until completely blended. (I use the lowest speed on my Kitchenaid mixer, mixing just until the mixture is almost completely combined.)

Fold the oats, cranberries, and white chocolate into the dough until evenly distributed.

Drop in mounds (see previous post for scoop info) about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. (note: do not grease your baking sheets..this adds extra fat which may cause your cookies to spread too much. Use parchment or a Silpat liner)

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 11-13 minutes or until golden but a little moist. (All cookies continue to cook a bit after removal from the oven so always slightly under bake for a soft cookie.) Let cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack.

If desired, drizzle or dip into white chocolate. (Oh, yes! :-)

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