In preparation for Christmas this year I would do a lot of baking, little did I know I would be choosing 6 new recipes and that it would take me 4 days to bake them all with all the other tasks we all have during the holiday, but hey I had fun, enjoyed doing what I love and got to share the rewards with family and friends.
This is one of the recipes, Cranberry Orange Spiral Cookies and much like my grandmother made when I was a child, except she used a date filling. And this was my first attempt at a filled cookie, so it brought back many memories, which seemed that this year those would come flooding back, for some reason more than years past.
So now I share with your these yummy moist cookies that could be made anytime of year but seemed most appropriate for Christmas and because they just get better each day as the filling helps keep the cookie moist. I found the recipe idea while perusing on Pinterest, (hum I like that word) and it is actually adapted from “King Arthur’s” Website as this was the brand of flour I am using. And on their site there is a recipe for the date filling if you would like to see Pinwheel Cookies with Dates and their Cranberry Cousins
I made these ahead along with some other rolled refrigerator cookies so I could schedule baking one cookie after another, it worked out great.
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
3 large eggs
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
If you like you can add about 2 tsp. orange zest
1 1/3 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
1 cup finely chopped pecans (I used walnuts cause I had lots)
1 cup orange marmalade This eliminated the use of a thickener, gave it a good flavor and added sugar
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until well combined. Set aside. Note: I use a ziplock bag, mix it up and pout it out.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes (mixer at medium speed). Add eggs and beat well. On low speed or with wooden spoon, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just blended. I used my Kitchenaid Mixer for my mixing
Shape the dough into a flat into a 9″ x 12″, 1/4″-thick rectangle on a lightly floured piece of parchment or waxed paper. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
Unwrap chilled dough and place on parchment, roll into a 12×9 inch rectangle of uniform thickness. Spread half the filling (date or cranberry) over the entire surface of the dough.
Using the paper to help you, roll the dough from the long edge into a log. Wrap the dough and chill for several hours, or overnight. And this is what I did for later baking.
In a bowl, combine the cranberries, pecans (or nuts of choice) and orange marmalade until well blended. Spread cranberry mixture evenly over dough to within ½ inch of edges. Spread half the filling (date or cranberry) over the entire surface of the dough.
Preheat oven to 375° F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the chilled dough log and using a sharp knife, cut into ¼ inch slices. Place on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 8 to 11 minutes or until edges start to turn lightly golden (mine were 9 minutes). Immediately slide parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Its best if you cool the cookies for a few minutes before removing from the parchment and placing directly on cooling rack.
The cranberry filling takes on a hint of orange of course and tastes delicious
Once you prepare your cookies you can freeze up to 6 weeks before thawing, to bake at a later time.
I baked my cookies on parchment paper, it is suggest that if using a greased pan, bake a shorter amount of time.
Store in an airtight container or Ziplock bags
When preheating oven allow it to turn on twice to ensure proper baking temperature.