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Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts, Date Pinwheel Cookies

Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts are tender, pillows of caramel-y cookie. These tasty cookies are moist and loaded with delicious, homemade date nut jam.

date and walnut filled cookies
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They’re a nod to an old classic Christmas cookie, but with my own twist. And you’ll be happy to eat these Date Pinwheel cookies ANY time of year.

The soft, tender cookie dough for Date Filled Cookies with Walnuts is simple and basic. And, it has the deep, rich caramel flavor we expect from dark brown sugar.

The date nut jam filling for these luscious date pinwheel cookies will rock your world! So good!

date and walnut filled cookies

I have a vague recollection of date pinwheel cookies from my childhood.

They were mostly cookie, flavorless and hard, with a thin, thin, thin ribbon of date filling swirled round and round in the cookie.

To get the pattern to work so nicely in date Pinwheels, the filling layer needed to be super thin. It looked cool, but the cookie’s flavor and moisture suffered, big time.

This version of filled date cookies solves that problem. And the delicious result is a pillowy soft, moist and tender cookie with an abundance of date jam filling.

This is not one of my usual “quick fix” recipes. There is chilling involved.

Be sure you plan ahead and start at least a day before you want to bake the cookies.

I promise the extra time and work will pay huge dividends! Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts / Date Pinwheels are worth every second you spend preparing them. DELISH!

And if you love pinwheel cookies, check out Sherrie’s yummy Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies over at From Michigan to the Table!

The Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • Vanilla
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda

For the Date Nut Jam:

  • Medjool Dates
  • Walnuts
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Water
  • Salt
date and walnut filled cookies

Baking with Dates

Dates, specifically medjool dates, are the perfect choice for Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts.

I love dates and use them for sweetening desserts with no need for processed sugar at all.

As a matter of fact, I make a carrot cake with zero refined sugar and zero grain that you would walk for days to get a bite of. Dates are the only sweetener and it’s phenomenal. (Hmmm … I keep forgetting to make that cake for the blog.)

Dates are definitely an underrated ingredient. They have a deep, rich caramel flavor and when you pair them with nuts, it really is something to celebrate!

There are a LOT of varieties of dates. Medjool dates are the way to go in this recipe.

What Are Medjool Dates?

Medjool Dates being chopped on a wooden cutting board
Medjool dates have the perfect caramely texture for making Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts.

Medjool Dates, (may be called Majhūl, Medjoul or Majhool) specifically, are my very favorite variety. Especially for baking.

They are larger and sweeter than other varieties of dates. And, Medjool dates have a killer caramel-like texture that no other date comes close to. That’s why they’re perfect in Date Pinwheel Cookies.

Medjool Dates are a stone fruit with one pit in the center. They are known as “the fruit of kings” and when you taste one, you’ll know why.

They grow on date palm trees and are native to Morocco. But, they are now grown United States, Israel, Palestine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Jordan.

As a sugar alternative, dates are simply an unprocessed and delicious choice. Your body is still going to react to sugar, (no matter the form), as sugar. Obviously, overindulgence can have all the same problems.

date and walnut filled cookies

The Nutritional Benefits of Medjool Dates

However, dates have so many nutritional benefits that refined sugar doesn’t. They are a good source of selenium, magnesium, potassium, calcium and copper.

Medjool dates are high in fiber and help you feel full longer.

Studies have shown them to be useful to stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation and improve hormone regulation.

They have even been shown to have health benefits for the heart, for digestion, the nervous system and metabolism.

To learn more, I found this article at WebMD to be very informative.

date and walnut filled cookies

Where to Buy Medjool Dates

Normally, I order Medjool dates on Amazon [affiliate link]. I have purchased the Sincerely Nuts brand and the Terra Soul brand with good results. Though, I do feel that the Sincerely Nuts Dates are slightly plumper and fresher.

What I have discovered is that I can order the Sincerely Nuts brand dates through Walmart, for less than they cost on Amazon and still get free shipping if the order is over $35. Plus, they will be on my front porch in 2 to 3 business days. So, that has been my practice, recently.

You may have lots of other options that I don’t have in a small community. But, if not, Walmart and Amazon are still the best bet for finding high quality Medjool dates.

date and walnut filled cookies

How to Make Date Filled Cookies with Walnuts

  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar together.  I used my Bosch stand mixer [affiliate link], 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.

To Make the Date Nut Jam

  1. While the dough is chilling make the date nut jam filling.  Put the dates, water, sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat and allow the jam to continue to boil, very gently, for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the heat when the date mixture becomes the consistency of soft jam.
  3. Stir in the chopped walnuts and set aside to cool to room temperature.

To Roll and Bake the Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts

  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 for 3 minutes, before removing to cooling racks.

date and walnut filled cookies

How to Store Date Pinwheel Cookies

To store the Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts, seal them in an airtight container for up to a week.

You can also freeze the cookies. Be sure the cookies are completely cooled before freezing.

I find that the gallon zip-top freezer bags work best. I lay the zip-top bag flat on the counter and make a single layer of the pinwheel cookies, inside.

Then I add a square of parchment paper or waxed paper and make a second layer. I lay the bag flat in the freezer, just like I filled it. Be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing.The cookies should last 6 months in the freezer.

The Recipe

Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts are absolutely scrumptious! I hope you’ll make this recipe. And, I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do. I think they are going to be a hit wherever you serve them. Happy baking, Friend!

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date and walnut filled cookies

Date and Walnut Filled Cookies


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

Description

Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts are tender, pillows of caramel-y cookie. These tasty cookies are moist and loaded with delicious, homemade date nut jam.  They’re a nod to an old classic Christmas cookie, but with my own twist. And you’ll be happy to eat these Date Pinwheel cookies ANY time of year.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Cookie Dough:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the Date Jam Filling:

  • 3 1/2 cups chopped dates (I weighed mine. They were 554g.)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chopped walnuts

Instructions

For the Cookie Dough:

  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar together.  I used my *Bosch 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.

For the Date Nut Jam:

  1. While the dough is chilling make the date nut jam filling.  Put the dates, water, sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat and allow the jam to continue to boil, very gently, for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the heat when the date mixture becomes the consistency of soft jam.
  3. Stir in the chopped walnuts and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Assembling the Cookie Roll:

  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.

Baking the Date Filled Cookies with Walnuts:

  1. 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.)
  2. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes.  The cookie will be lightly browned around the edges, but still soft and tender.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the *baking sheet for 3 minutes, before removing to cooling racks.
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Category: Desserts, Cookies
  • Cuisine: American

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glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

10 thoughts on “Filled Date Cookies with Walnuts, Date Pinwheel Cookies”

  1. Hi Glenda, I was all set to make these delicious sounding cookies until I read that they have 270 calories in a single cookie. Surely that is a misprint! Is there any way to double check this? I’d sure appreciate it.

    Reply
    • Hi Trudi, it is accurate. Dates are very high calorie as is brown sugar. And the quantity of nuts is high in good fats which also makes them high in calories. These cookies are quite large and you could reduce the calories by making them smaller if you wanted.

      Reply
  2. This is my dad’s favorite Christmas cookie. When I found you recipe, I had to make it for him. He loved date cookies and asked me to make them again! Your recipe was so easy to follow and I have added it to my Christmas baking list!

    Reply
  3. I halved the sugar and didn’t have eggs in the fridge so substituted with greek yogurt. They came out SO GOOD!!! This is a must-try recipe for sure – I’m usually very critical of my bakes but this was my first bake that I had no complaints about. Thank you for sharing Glenda 🙂

    Reply

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