This cookie is just what I needed for the first week of August. I wanted an excellent apricot taste with a bit of citrus to brighten up the flavors. To ensure I had enough apricot taste, I decided to have apricots in two different ways; in preserves or jam and dried.
The taste of the apricots with the walnuts is a great flavor combo but add in a little orange glaze, and you have to taste these cookies to believe the combination of flavors.
Ingredients for Apricot PinwheelsJump to Recipe for Amounts
Apricot and Walnut Filling
- Apricot jam or preserves
- Apricot dried
- Walnuts diced
Pinwheel Cookie Dough
- Butter unsalted
- Sugar white
- Vanilla Extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Kosher Salt
- Baking powder
- Powdered sugar
- Orange juice
- Orange zest
Prepping for Cookies
The dried apricots need to be as small of pieces as possible, and the only way I have found that is perfect is through a food processor. Before I retired, I purchased all the baking electronics I would need. I wanted good quality, so I researched and found that it would be the Breville 16-cup Sous Chef Peel & Dice.
One of the many features I love is that it has a smaller inner bowl perfect for dicing dried apricots and, of course, other things. I turn on the food processor and add all the dried apricot through the opening in the top. Stop the food processor when they are small pieces. They stick together, but you can separate them when adding them to the cookies.
To help keep the log shape, I have a little trick. You will need two center paper towel holders, which you will cut in half. It will take two halves to cradle one log. This is the cheap version, but I have been dying to try a pan for two french loaves. Found some at Lehman's French Bread Pans but if you see something that works, please let me know.
Weigh your flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, running a whisk to blend. Then, in another bowl, weigh your sugar and set it aside.
Mixing the Cookie Dough
Add the room-temperature butter and sugar to a mixer bowl and mix on a medium speed for about 3 minutes. Light and fluffy with small peaks along the side of the mixer bowl is what you are looking for.
Scrape down the sides and add the milk and vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to a medium and blend. I add one egg at a time. I add to a saucer first to make sure there are no eggshells that will end up in my cookie batter.
How To Roll Pinwheel Cookies
Finally, turn the mixer to a low speed and add the flour. Blend but do not over-mix; you can finish incorporating any loose flour with a one-piece spatula. My favorite is from William Sonoma Flex Core Spatula, I LOVE the one piece, and I have had this spatula for five years.
Setting up my counter first makes creating the logs a little easier. I have a pastry mat, and two sheets of parchment paper lined up side by side. Flour all three pieces.
Add all the cookie dough to the pastry mat. I flatten out the dough into a rectangular shape and divide it into two smaller rectangles. Then put each half on a separate piece of parchment paper. Now I can get rid of the pastry mat.
Roll out the rectangle shape to fill most of the parchment paper. I cut a little off the sides so I had straighter sides.
Take your apricot preservers or jam and spread a thin layer onto the dough. I leave about 1" to 1 ½" without any filling the whole way around the rectangle of cookie dough.
Next, take no more than half of the diced dried apricots and spread them around on top of the jam. Try to separate chunks sticking together to get an even amount on top of the jam.
Finally, I take about ¼ of a cup of the diced walnuts and spread them on top of the diced dried apricots. Now it is time to roll!
This is why I roll the cookie dough on parchment paper; easy to pick up the end of the parchment paper, which helps the rolling process. Keep lifting the parchment paper's one end while getting the roll as tight as possible.
When you get near the end of rolling the pinwheel cookie dough, cut off a piece of plastic wrap and stick it under the end of the parchment paper. This way, you can roll it right onto the plastic wrap.
Wrap and Chill Cookie Dough
Now do the same thing to the other half of the cookie dough. I have a quarter sheet pan that is a perfect fit for two logs and fits nicely in my refrigerator. Take two halves of the paper towel center cardboard and fit them under a log. Do the same for the second log. These are fat logs, so it takes two to make them stay in one place and not flatten out. Chill for at least 2 hours, but I prefer to keep them in the refrigerator overnight.
Slice and Bake Your Pinwheel Cookies
Place an unwrapped log on a cutting board and grab a sharp knife.
I cut off the very end since there is very little apricot filling in the ends. I make the slices about ¼" to ⅜" wide. Depending on the width of your slices will determine the number of cookies.
I put 12 slices on parchment-lined cookie sheet pans. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. After baking, I leave them on the pan for a few minutes before removing them to finish cooling.
Because there is fruit on both sides of the cookie, I put parchment paper on top of my cooling rack. The reason is that the fruit will stick to the rack and some of the fruit might pull out when you take the cookies off the rack.
Adding Orange Glaze
After the cookies have completely cooled, this is the time to add the glaze. Add powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and honey to a bowl. Using a whisk combine all the ingredients until it is smooth.
I use a spoon and just go back and forth over the cookie a couple of times to add just a little glaze. You want the orange to compliment the apricot.
Last weekend, I went to Lititz, PA's arts and craft show. So naturally, I am always looking for pretty dishes to display my yummy cookies. So I picked this dish to complement the colors of my cookies this week. This dish was made by Bridget Hughes - Ceramic Artist and can be found on FaceBook.com/bridgethughespottery. Also, congrats to Bridget on the third-place Artist Award at the show.
Yes, you can use any type of jam or preserves that you like. Raspberry, strawberry, and peach are all good choices.
Store Apricot Pinwheel Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. They can also be frozen for up to two months.
Yes, you can use any type of glaze that you like. A vanilla glaze or a lemon glaze would also work well with these cookies.
They require a bit of time and effort, but they're not difficult to make. The key is to make sure that the dough is rolled out into a nice rectangle and the filling is distributed evenly so that the pinwheels hold their shape when sliced and baked.
Other Cookies To Try
Apricot Pinwheel Cookies with Orange GlazeBarbara Hall
Apricot and Walnut Filling
- 13 ounces (368.54 g) Apricot jam or preserves
- 11 ounces (311.85 g) Apricot dried
- ½ cup (58.5 g) Walnuts diced
Pinwheel Cookie Dough
- 1 cup (227 g) Butter unsalted room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) Sugar white
- 2 teaspoon (2 teaspoon) Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoon (2 Tablespoon) Milk
- 2 (2) Eggs room temperature
- 3 ½ cups (437.5 g) All-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Kosher Salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon (1.5 teaspoon) Baking powder
- 1 ½ cup (180 g) Powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoon (3 Tablespoon) Orange juice
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Orange zest
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Honey
- Add the dried Apricots to a food processor and dice them into small pieces. They will stick together, but you can separate them when adding to the rolled-out cookie dough.
- Weigh your sugar into a bowl and set it aside. Next, weigh the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into another bowl, running a whisk through to blend.
- In a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar until the batter is light and fluffy with small peaks on the side of the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract and the milk. Blend for a minute. Next, add one egg at a time until mixed into the batter. Scrape down the sides again, turn the mixer onto a low speed and gradually add the flour mixture. Don't over-mix, blend in any loose flour using a strong spatula or by hand.
Roll and Bake the Pinwheels
- This recipe makes enough for 2 pinwheel logs. With that in mind I have a 3-part setup on my workstation. A pastry mat and 2 parchment paper sheets (16 ¼" X 12 ¼") that fits a half sheet pan. Flour all three.
- Take the cookie dough from the mixer bowl and place it on the pastry mat. Form a rectangle that is about 8" X 12" and then cut it at the 6" (middle) to form 2 rectangle shapes. They should be about 6" X 8" in size. I have a picture above in the post if needed. Place a rectangle on each parchment paper, and you can remove the pastry mat. Now we roll the dough.
- Each cookie dough rectangle will fill a parchment paper sheet when rolled out. I use parchment paper because you can lift the end to help roll the dough into a log shape. Once you have the dough rolled out, I trim the sides a little to help keep the rectangle shape, making it easier to line the filling with the sides.
- Using about half a jar of the jam or preserves, spread a thin layer onto the cookie dough, leaving about 1 to 1 ½ inches around the outer edge of the whole rectangle without any jam. This way, you will not have the filling squeezing out the sides when rolling into a log. Next, take the diced apricots and sprinkle them around on top of the jam reserve enough for the second log. Separate, any big chunks sticking together. Finally, sprinkle about ¼ cup of the diced walnuts on top of the dried apricots — time to roll into a log.
- Start by rolling the short edge of the rectangle closest to you; as you roll, lift up the edge of the parchment paper under the roll. If you keep lifting the paper along with rolling the cookie dough, it makes it easier to make a tight roll. Before you get to the end, grab plastic wrap and tear off a sheet. Put the plastic wrap's edge under the end of the parchment paper and roll the log onto the plastic wrap.
- Wrap the log with plastic wrap and smooth out the log with your hands. Take a cardboard paper towel center and slip it in half lengthwise. use both sections under the log to cradle it and help keep its shape. Now do the second log the same way. Chill for at least 2 hours, but overnight is better.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Place an unwrapped log onto a cutting board and slice ¼" to ⅜" thick slices of the log for each cookie. I use a sharp knife. You can use the end pieces, but they will have little or no filling. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. When they have come out of the oven, I put parchment paper sheets on my cooling rack. Since there is filling on both sides of the cookie, as they cool, they can stick to the rack and pull the filling out when you move them.
- Add the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and honey to a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add some to a spoon and go back and forth 2 or 3 times over the top of each cookie. You only need a little. Try the glaze on 1 cookie to see if you need more or less for your taste before you glaze the rest.
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