Pistachio-Date Pinwheel Cookies

Recipe & Photo by Mindy Fox
This delicious slice and bake cookie created for us by food editor and author Mindy Fox combines pistachios and dates, two iconic California crops, in a buttery pinwheel cookie.  A touch of lemon adds the finishing note, perfect for Spring!

Makes about 2 dozen cookies



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pitted dates (about 7 ounces whole)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, finely chopped
  • Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

For Cookies: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and 1 cup of the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beating until just combined.

Turn out dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Form into a rectangle (approximately 4 x 6 inches), with even thickness. Place a second sheet of parchment on top. Roll out to a 10 1/2-x-12 1/2-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Trim edges to create a 10-x-12-inch rectangle. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine dates, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 cup water. Bring just to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and fairly smooth (some chunks are ok), about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and let cool completely. (If not using same day; keep covered and refrigerated until ready to use.)

Remove dough from refrigerator. Remove top sheet of parchment. Spread date mixture over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle pistachios and lemon zest on top. Gently press nuts into filling to help them stay put while you roll dough.

With a long end of dough facing you, tightly roll dough into a tight log, using the bottom sheet of parchment for support as you go. (If the dough is too stiff to roll, let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then try again. If it becomes too soft, refrigerate 10 to 20 minutes.) Wrap log in plastic; refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

When ready to bake: heat oven to 350ºF with racks in middle and lower third. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Remove plastic from log and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Arrange on prepared cookie sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake, turning pans and rotating between racks halfway through, until edges are just beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

For Glaze: In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and zest until smooth. Immediately drizzle over cooled cookies.


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