Date Pinwheel Cookies

Makes 6 dozen cookies

 

1-1/4 cups dates, pitted and finely chopped

3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon butter

3 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour, divided

2 teaspoons vanilla, divided

1 cup packed brown sugar

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup shortening

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Combine dates, orange juice, granulated sugar, butter and 1 tablespoon flour in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla; set aside to cool.

Beat brown sugar, cream cheese and shortening in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed about 3 minutes or until creamy. Add eggs and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla, beat 2 more minutes.

Combine remaining 3 cups flour, baking soda and salt in bowl. Add to shortening mixture, stir until blended. Divide dough in half. Roll half the dough on lightly floured surface into 12 x 9 rectangle. Spread half of the date mixture evenly over the dough, leaving 1/4 inch border at top short edge. Starting at opposite end, tightly roll up dough like a jelly roll. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour. repeat with remaining dough and date mixture.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease cookie sheets. Using heavy thread or dental floss, cut dough into 1/4" slices. Place slices on cookie sheets.

Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies stand on cookie sheets 2 minutes. remove to wire racks to cool.

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