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Black Walnut Pin Wheel CookiesSherryanne de la Boise, Northfield

Black Walnut Pin Wheel Cookies  

Sherryanne de la Boise, Northfield

½ c of room temperature salted butter

½ c firmly packed light brown sugar

½ c plus ¼ c granulated white cane sugar

1 large, fresh egg

2 c sifted all-purpose flour

¼ t baking soda

Waxed paper

⅓ c water

Dash salt 1 c finely chopped black walnuts*

7 ¼ oz of finely chopped dates (rough cut take a bit longer to melt)

½ t of Mexican vanilla (can use Madagascar, but different flavor)


Cream butter until light and a bit fluffy. Add the brown sugar and ½ c of the white sugar, vanilla and egg. Beat the mixture until light. Add the baking soda, then work in the flour. Halve the dough and spread between sheets of wax paper. Since you will be rolling the dough up the width of the waxed paper, any length will be fine. Chill the two flat sheet of dough until firm. For the filling: Using very gentle heat or a double boiler, melt the dates into the water and the ¼ c sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the nuts and allow to cool to room temperature.


Roll the dough between sheets of waxed paper until it is ⅛ - ¼  inch thick. Smear half of the filling onto the dough so that there is a 1/2” of unfilled border along the top edge of the dough (that will keep the filling from oozing out). Start rolling from the side opposite the unfilled border, using the waxed paper to assist in getting the roll tight. Chill the resultant log overnight. Slice ⅛ inch thick and bake 350° for 10 minutes. Makes 6 dozen.

*Black walnuts are abundant in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The recipe needs the meat from a dozen walnuts. Making slices and baking cookies is really easy after you have done it once. If you add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the dough, you will have a chocolate pinwheel.

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