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Cranberry Pecan Pinwheel Cookies (Filled Cookies) on a rough wooden table top

Cranberry Pecan Pinwheel Cookies (Filled Cookies)

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 dozen 1x


Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies are a delicious twist on Date Nut Pinwheels and a gorgeous Christmas Cookie!  Pillowy, brown sugar cookies filled with tart sweet cranberry jam.  These cookies are delicious and beautiful!


Units Scale

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the Cranberry Filling:

  • 2 (12 oz) bags fresh cranberries (about 6 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 cups chopped pecans


For the Cookies:

  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar together.  I used my stand mixer, but these are easily made by hand, too.)
  2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until completely incorporated.
  4. Divide the dough in half and place each half of the dough in a gallon zip-top bag, press it down flat and refrigerate for 1 hour.  You want the dough to be chilled enough that you will be able to roll it out.
  5. While the dough is chilling make the cranberry pecan jam.

For the Jam:

  1. Place cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, allspice, orange juice and orange zest in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir together and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Once mixture begins boiling, reduce the heat to medium and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens to the consistency of jam. (Start counting seconds as you drag a spoon through the jam to the other side of your pan. The trail you leave will begin to fill in, but you should be able to count 5 seconds before it closes completely.)
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the pecans, and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before using it to fill the pinwheel dough.

Shaping the Cookies:

  1. When the dough is fully chilled, roll each half out into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle, (each rectangle will be 9×12) on a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. Spread one half of the cooled jam across each of the rectangles of cookie dough, spreading it to the edges.
  3. Working from the long edge, use the parchment paper to help you roll the dough and filling into a log.  The log will be fairly big around, 3 -3.5 inches in diameter.  Because the filling layer is thick, it will not be tight swirls like pinwheel cookies.  Work from the long edge and tuck the dough into the jam as you get the roll started.  Keep rolling, using the parchment to help you, tucking as you go to keep the roll being formed.  In the end the roll will have a swirl of dough at the center, surrounded by jam and then dough encasing it all.  It won’t form the tight pinwheel like the cookies from the past that had just a tiny thin ribbon of filling.
  4. Wrap and chill the logs for at least 6 hours.
  5. To bake, cut the logs into 1/3″ slices and place on a cookie sheet leaving at least 2 inches in between, for spreading. (If you rotate the log a quarter turn after each slice you make, it will help the cookies stay round instead of going flat on one side.)
  6. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes.  The cookie will be lightly browned around the edges, but still soft and tender.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet [affiliate link] for 3 minutes, before moving to cooling racks.
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Category: Desserts, Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American