Pinwheel cookies are such a fun addition to cookie tins. The key to pinwheel recipes is all about the filling—that swirl that gives color and flavor to the cookies.
Familiar Fig Flavor in Pinwheel Cookies
If you have fond memories of fig cookies from childhood, these pinwheel cookies are for you, especially if you use Mission Figs. Black Mission Figs have this deeper sweetness that is also really familiar. Using Golden Figs will add a more delicate sweetness that’s slightly nutty.
Figgy Filling for Pinwheel Cookies
The hazelnuts and figs come together over a boil with water and sugar, cooking until thickened. That means the filling is a little nutty and will sparkle with fig seeds. The filling gets pulsed until it’s the consistency of a paste and then rests for an hour to cool completely. Some ideas for other fillings—try our Cocoa Fig Jam or Quick Mission Dried Fig Jam with Brandy for a tasty twist.
Tips for Pinwheel Recipes
- The dough needs time to chill twice, so make sure to plan ahead.
- Grease the parchment paper on which the pinwheel cookies are baked so they don’t stick.
Anytime you’re making a cookie dough, you want to think about desired texture. This is why it’s a good idea to whisk together the dry ingredients in their own bowl first. They’re usually added at the end to the wet ingredients, just until combined and this is a key method for maintaining a delicate crumb.
How to Make Pinwheel Cookies
Beating the butter with the sugars until pale and fluffy builds up the volume which is why often you will see the length of time for this step being several minutes long. This step also combines the butter and sugar completely.
Next up, it’s always a good idea to swipe the inside of the bowl with a spatula between steps when the machine is turned off to make sure the batter is all in the base and can continue combining.
Then, eggs are added one at a time, beating until combined. Vanilla is added next. And then, finally that bowl of dry ingredients gets added into the stand mixer bowl in three increments, mixing until just combined, but also remembering to swipe the sides of the mixing bowl between additions with a spatula.
The dough is then divided in half and shaped into 6-inch squares, wrapped in plastic. Chilling the dough for 1 hour or up to 2 days lets the ingredients really meld and also gives the butter time to solidify and give cleaner cuts and more consistent bakes.
Then, one-at-a-time, and on floured parchment paper, roll each dough square out to a 13 x 9-inch rectangle and then spread on half of the cooled fig filling spread evenly. If you’ve ever made cinnamon rolls, you know what’s next—rolling is such a fun part of the process. With the long side facing you, using the parchment paper to help roll the dough into a log. Then the log gets wrapped tightly with parchment to be chilled until firm.
While the first log of pinwheel cookies chills in the refrigerator, prepare the second square of dough as described above to also chill as a filled log until firm.
Place the oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. You will rotate and switch the cookies during their baking. The cookies are then cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, spaced 2 inches apart on two baking sheets lined with the greased parchment paper. Bake the cookies at 350F until their tops are golden brown, about 18-22 minutes, planning to switch and rotate the sheet pans halfway through baking.
To cool the cookies, you will slide the parchment to a wire rack and leave cookies to cool completely. Then, slice and bake the second log of pinwheel cookies.
Store the cookies at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Ready to roll? Save this pinwheel cookies to bake pinwheel recipes during the holidays or year-round.
Mission Fig Pinwheel Cookies
- 1 3/4 cups hazelnuts toasted, skinned, chopped fine
- 1 1/2 cups Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and chopped fine
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 3 eggs large
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Filling
- Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to food processor and pulse until it forms uniform paste, 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer to bowl and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
For the Dough
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, and mix until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed. Divide dough in half and form each half into 6-inch square. Wrap squares in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Working on floured parchment paper, roll 1 dough square into 13 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread half of cooled filling evenly over dough. With long side facing you, use parchment to roll dough into log. Wrap tightly with parchment and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and grease parchment. Working with 1 log at a time, slice dough into ½-inch-thick rounds and space them 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake until tops are golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through. Slide parchment onto wire rack and let cookies cool completely before serving. Repeat with second dough log. (Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)