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Date Nut Pinwheel Cookies

Yield

2 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups dates, pitted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Chop pitted dates in food chopper. Place dates into small saucepan and add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, pinch of salt, and 1 1/4 cups of water. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture is of a soft consistency. Remove from heat. Add grated lemon rind, lemon juice, and chopped nuts. Mix well and chill.

Cream together 3/4 cup butter and gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup brown sugar. Beat well. Beat 2 eggs until thick and add to creamed mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Sift together twice. Sift dry ingredients into creamed mixture about 1/4 at a time. Combine thoroughly after each addition. Chill until firm.

Divide dough into 3 parts. Roll out 1 part at a time into a rectangle. Spread with date filling. Roll up jelly roll fashion in waxed paper. Chill several hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. (180°C). Lightly grease baking sheeting using Pan Release, or line with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, slice 1/4" thick slices off of rolls and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 to 13 minutes. Cool 2 minutes then remove cookies from cookie sheet and continue to cool on a wire rack.

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