This variation of the classic Scottish shortbread cookie makes a tasty and elegant start to the new cookie year. The combination of crunch and chewiness in a cookie always works for me. So for my version of the shortbread cookie from Scotland I combined the buttery and crumbly shortbread dough with a sticky date and orange filling. I like the sophisticated combination of colors of this cookie too. The pale dough, the dark dates and the cheerfully orange candied peel make for a stylish treat. If you want to make a nicely defined pinwheel you do need some patience. Leaving the dough to rest and firm up really helps you get a much neater result. If – like me – you prefer short cuts, you could use the freezer to shorten the waiting time. But keep an eye out to make sure the dough does not freeze and becomes rock solid. You will have to wait for your cookies much longer in the end.
Shortbread date pinwheels
For about 20 cookies
120 grams (1 stick) soft, unsalted butter + extra for buttering the tin
60 grams (¼ cup) sugar
pinch of salt
180 grams ( 1⅔ cups) flour
12 dates (pitted)
grated peel of 1 (organic and unwaxed) orange
25 grams (5 tbs) of candied orange peel (chopped)
With an electric mixer beat the butter with the sugar for about 5 mins. until light and creamy.
Add the flour and the salt. Quickly knead into a soft dough.
Roll out into a rectangle of 15×20 cm (6×8 inches) between two layers of cling film. Leave in the fridge to rest for about 30 mins.
In a food processor chop the dates with the grated orange peel until it forms a thick paste. Roll it out into a rectangle of 15×20 cm (6×8 inches) between two layers of cling film.
Take the dough out of the fridge and remove the top layer of cling film. Remove both layers of cling film from the sheet of date paste and press on top of the dough. With help of the bottom layer of cling film roll up the dough. Press in the candied peel and leave in the fridge for about 30 mins. to become firm again.
Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF. Cut slices of ½ cm (⅓ inch) and lay them on a cookie sheet covered with baking paper. Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 mins. until done. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on the cookie sheet.
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