I tried something new in the baking realm. I had a bunch of dates (I don't know why since I hate dates). I wanted to use them and remembered that my mom used to make date pinwheel cookies for my grandpa when he was still alive. She did not have a go-to recipe, so she and I both searched and found what seems to be a pretty standard recipe. Since I don't eat the stuff I bake, I cannot comment on whether these taste normal, but I can say that I had a bitch of a time with the dough rolling up properly (will go lighter on the flour next time and perhaps get better rolling surfaces — wax paper, a marble block?). Rolled-out cookies are sometimes so hit or miss. If the texture and temperature are not just right, they just don't turn out correctly.
So these date-walnut pinwheels did not turn out in complete disaster. They resemble the rolled cookie look but became roundly rectangular and the date filling was a bit too wet/gooey. My conclusion on the mixing and assembly is that these might be more trouble than they are worth, but I will reserve judgment until I have some taste-testing results. With practice and a bit of tweaking, I am sure these can be perfected.
Meanwhile, here is the recipe:
2 1/4 cups pitted, chopped dates
1 cup sugar
1 cup water (I would go a little lighter on the water next time)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Combine the dates, sugar and water in a saucepan and cook over low heat for about ten minutes (until thick). Allow mixture to cool, add the walnuts.
1 cup butter, soft
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream butter and brown sugar, mix in the beaten eggs. Sift dry ingredients together and then add to the creamed mixture.
Cover the dough and let chill for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll each out separately into a 1/4-inch rectangle. Spread the date-walnut filling onto the rolled out dough (to about 1/4-inch of the edges). Roll the dough from the short side of the rectangle. Pinch edges and wrap in wax paper. Chill, preferably overnight. (Repeat the process with the second piece of dough.)
The next day (or after at least 4 hours) slice the logs into 1/4-inch slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment (or greased) — the filling can be very sticky and will cause the cookies to stick to the pan.
Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes.