Old Fashioned Heritage Pinwheel Rolled Cookie with Dates and Nuts

Sweet treats


This is another old fashioned cookie coming from a file that my mother had kept originating back to saved recipes from her mother, my beloved grandma.

Most of them are jotted down on scraps of paper and are hand-written. Many of them contain only the list of ingredients and assume the person making the recipe would know how to proceed.

In some cases the paper scraps are crumbling and amounts can no longer be determined. The ones that are spattered the most were probably family favorites and attest to them being often handled and used as reference when baking or cooking.

As I try out some of these recipes and share them online, it is with a nod to saving some of the rich heritage as well as flavors from the past that has become a personal journey of discovery and remembrance.


Rolled Date Nut Cookies

Rolled Date Nut Cookies
Rolled Date Nut Cookies | Source

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4.4 stars from 14 ratings of Rolled Date Nut Cookies

Gathering ingredients for these rolled date nut cookies

Gathering ingredients for these rolled date nut cookies
Gathering ingredients for these rolled date nut cookies | Source

My Grandma's hand-written recipe

My Grandma's hand-written recipe
My Grandma's hand-written recipe | Source

Ingredients for Rolled Date Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening, (I used Crisco)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups dates
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup nut meats, ground

Rolled date cookie preparation photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mixing the shortening, brown sugar and eggsFlour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt addedMixed batter ready to be chilledDates, sugar and water placed into stovetop panNuts added and cooked to make thick pasteChilled dough rolled out on well floured boardApplying date nut mixture to dough with spatulaRolling the cookiesRolled cookie mixtureChilling the rolled cookie overnight in refrigerator ~ Waxed paper in between rolls.
Mixing the shortening, brown sugar and eggs
Mixing the shortening, brown sugar and eggs | Source
Flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt added
Flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt added | Source
Mixed batter ready to be chilled
Mixed batter ready to be chilled | Source
Dates, sugar and water placed into stovetop pan
Dates, sugar and water placed into stovetop pan | Source
Nuts added and cooked to make thick paste
Nuts added and cooked to make thick paste | Source
Chilled dough rolled out on well floured board
Chilled dough rolled out on well floured board | Source
Applying date nut mixture to dough with spatula
Applying date nut mixture to dough with spatula | Source
Source
Rolling the cookies
Rolling the cookies | Source
Rolled cookie mixture
Rolled cookie mixture | Source
Chilling the rolled cookie overnight in refrigerator ~ Waxed paper in between rolls.
Chilling the rolled cookie overnight in refrigerator ~ Waxed paper in between rolls. | Source

Slicing the cookie rolls prior to baking

Slicing the cookie rolls prior to baking
Slicing the cookie rolls prior to baking | Source

Rolled cookies

  1. Beat together the shortening, brown sugar and eggs until smooth.
  2. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour to the mixture and blend until well combined.
  3. Chill the dough in refrigerator until well chilled.
  4. When the dough is chilled, prepare the date/nut paste.
  5. Put the dates, granulated sugar, water and ground nuts into a saucepan on top of the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce while stirring until the mixture turns into a thick paste. Cool slightly.
  6. Divide the dough into three or more parts and roll out onto a well floured board to about a 1/4 inch thickness or a little less. Try to make the edges of the rolled out dough come out even and squared.
  7. Spread the date/nut mixture onto the dough and roll the dough jellyroll fashion, crimping the edges together.
  8. Continue until all of the dough and date/nut paste is used up.
  9. Chill overnight. (I put the rolls onto waxed paper and even stacked them on top of each other with waxed paper in between.)
  10. The next day...when ready to bake...cut the rolls into approximately 1/4 inch slices and put onto a greased cookie sheet.
  11. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until browned. (The hand-written recipe called for 12 to 15 minutes, but with our oven, I found that to be too much time...so be your own judge and watch your oven time on your first batch of cookies...and let that be your guide.)
  12. Cool on a wire rack.

Rolled date nut cookies being cooled on wire rack.

Rolled date nut cookies being cooled on wire rack.
Rolled date nut cookies being cooled on wire rack. | Source

Nutrition facts regarding Sun-Maid Chopped Dates

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 cup
Calories 120
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 33 g11%
Sugar 28 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 1 g2%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

My Mother in her kitchen ~ 1960's

My Mother in her kitchen ~ 1960s
My Mother in her kitchen ~ 1960s | Source

Old fashioned cookie


This old fashioned cookie recipe makes a large batch of cookies depending upon how you roll them. The way I made them amounted to slightly over 11 dozen cookies that were an inch to an inch and a half in size.

If you want larger cookies, and you have rolled out a rectangular size cookie batter as I did (refer to the photos above) then just start rolling them from the smallest sized edge towards the other. Your cookie will end up being a much larger cookie than if you start rolling it from the largest margin across.

I used chopped nuts instead of ground nuts. While good...the next time I bake these cookies, I will use ground nuts as the recipe called for, because it will be easier to slice the cookies prior to baking if the nuts are smaller.

These cookies taste even better over time! They freeze well.

If your family likes sweet treats that have some nutritional value, the dates and nuts add some wholesome goodness to this old fashioned cookie recipe that dates back to my grandmother's time.

With my German heritage coming from my mother's side of the family...no meal was complete without some type of sweet treat to finish it off. Lunch boxes typically had some cookies packaged up in waxed paper along with a sandwich, piece of fruit and thermos of milk. Desserts after dinner often included a slice of homemade pie, cake or more cookies.

Thus, baking this old fashioned heritage cookie brings back some fond memories of the good old days. Hope that you enjoy this family recipe of mine. While it takes some time to complete, because of the time factored in for the chilling of the dough, it is worth it in the end! Wish that I could share a couple of these delicious cookies with you right now!

Cup of coffee with cookies

Cup of coffee with cookies on my grandparent's china
Cup of coffee with cookies on my grandparent's china | Source

Like cookies? Here are more recipes...



Ready for some baking?
Ready for some baking? | Source

© 2012 Peggy Woods

More by this Author


Comments are most welcome! 77 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hello breathing,

I am so pleased that you enjoyed reading this old fashioned cookie recipe of mine. It has been enjoyed in our family for generations.


breathing profile image

breathing 7 months ago from Bangladesh

Good news for the cookie and sweet lovers. Another set of great dishes for them. Seeing the pictures I’m unable to control water in my mouth. Absolute joy for a cookie lover. The making of the recipe has been nicely described here in the hub. I’ve got nice ideas of different cookie recipes from this post and tried a few ones. Indeed they are awesome in taste! That’s why I thank the author for giving me a golden chance of fulfilling my appetite and finally I request you all try the dishes out mentioned in this post. I guarantee you will remember the taste forever!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 11 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi SweetiePie,

If you really like the sound of this old fashioned cookie recipe you might wish to copy it. I am gradually moving some of these over to my own website, so it might disappear for a while until accomplished. This is a good one! Enjoy!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 11 months ago from Southern California, USA

I think this would be a fun recipe to try. It definitely is worth it to preserve some of these recipes for historical sake so a new generation can try these out. I will share this on Pinterest.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 13 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Patricia,

Thanks for the visit. I got to see the cute photo of my mother in her kitchen back in the 1960's because of it as well as think of these delicious cookies again. I should make some more sometime soon! Good wishes are being sent your way as well.


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