Holiday Cookies #1: Pinwheel Cookie with Dates & Mango Filling

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So this year I have decided experiment with holiday cookies.  To make and receive holiday cookies is something millions of people out there enjoy during the holiday season.  Personally I am a classic girl: give me sugar cookies during the holidays and I am a happy camper.  But with tons of types of cookies out there, I decided to experiment a little.  Open my palate a little to the possibilities and do what I tell my students to do: Try!

For the first experiment, I found this recipe in one of the Holiday Cookies magazines I purchased for research.  I picked Pinwheel Cookies because I don’t like stuffed cookies or any ingredients other than dough in my cookies.  The recipe called for dried dates and apricots for the stuffing.  I did not have both and my closest store only had dates.  So I combined the dates with dried mangos that I had on hand.

I was floored by the cookies.  And will no longer steer clear of filled cookies moving forward.

So check out the recipe and photos below.

After measuring all the ingredients, I put the flour, salt …

… baking powder …

and sugar into the sifter.

I sifted the flour mixture into a large bowl.

Next I added the butter.

The recipe called for a pastry CUTTER but since I did not have one, I used the best tools ever: my hands.

Once the mixture looked like breadcrumbs, it was ready for the next step.  Set aside for now.

I lightly beat the eggs then added the vanilla.  While the recipe called for extract, I used paste for the first time.

Next in was the milk.  I beat all the liquid ingredients until well combined.

I poured the egg mixture into the flour mixture.

Again I used my handy dandy hands to mix everything together

I made two balls and wrapped one in cellophane and put it aside.

I rolled out the first ball until about 1/8″ thick and then measured out 2″ squares

Then using a rotary cutter and a ruler as a guide, I cut out the squares.

This is what it looked like.  Because it was a little warm in the kitchen, I put the dough in the fridge to firm up a little.  Then repeat the process for the second dough.

After a few minutes in the fridge, the first dough had hardened enough to work with so I placed it on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.

Then I cut 4 slits from the corners towards the center, shown above.  The slits were about 1″ long.

Slits all done.

Then I added the filling into the middle.  So my big lesson in using dried fruit: cut the dried fruit as finely as you can.  I had problems at this stage because some of my fruit had not been cut finely enough that they did not fit on the center of the dough.  But lesson learned.

The first batch all filled up.  Now comes the challenging part: creating the pinwheel shape.

Not bad for the first time I have ever attempted to make this in dough.  Once I was finished making all the pinwheels, I baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Ok, I admit that this shot was not the best.  These were the not best looking ones but hey, it was my first attempt at doing this.

Now these are the good looking ones.  After a light dusting of powdered sugar, these babies are ready for me to taste.

And my verdict: I liked this cookie.  I LOVED the dates and mango center.  And the combination with the cookie was phenomenal.  Moving forward I will not be steering so far away from cookies made with stuff.

Print Recipe
Pinwheel Cookies
  1. In a pot, combine dried plums, dates, water and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, site together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter as for pastry.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix well. Blend the egg mixture into the flour mixture until well combined. Form two balls. Wrap one ball in plastic wrap and set aside.
  4. Place the first ball on a floured surface and roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch squares. Place on uncreased baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper first).
  5. Make 1-inch in all the corners. Place 1/2-teaspoon of filling into the center of each cookie. Bring every other corner up into center to a pinwheel and press lightly.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 minutes or until the points are light golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Dust with confectioner sugar.
Recipe Notes

I got the original recipe in Taste of Home's Holiday Cookies 2018 and the recipe was submitted by Ilona Barron.

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