Halva and Pistachio Pinwheel Cookies

Halva and Pistachio Pinwheel Cookies
Photography, recipe development, and styling by Amisha Gurbani/feedfeed

Amisha Gurbani considers pinwheels to be the quintessential Christmas cookie. Here, she swirls halva and pistachio dough into a cookie log, then rolls them in dried rose petal sugar. Find more holiday cookie recipes from Amisha of The Jam Lab in our Holiday Cookies Special Issue, co-produced with feedfeed

Halva and Pistachio Pinwheel Cookies
Makes about 54
  • 1¼ cups (284 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups (438 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
  • ¾ cup (82 grams) halva
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/40°C to 110°F/43°C), divided
  • ¾ cup (85 grams) pistachios
  • ⅛ teaspoon liquid green food coloring (optional)
  • ½ cup (10 grams) dried rose petals
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 1¼ cups (250 grams) sugar at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Divide dough in half.
  2. For halva dough: In small bowl, whisk together halva and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) warm milk to make a smooth paste. Place half of dough back in stand mixer. With mixer on low speed, add halva mixture, beating until combined. Turn out dough onto a work surface, and divide in half. Place one portion on a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a 6-inch square; wrap well in plastic wrap. Repeat with second portion of halva dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. For pistachio dough: Finely grind pistachios in a coffee grinder. Place remaining dough back in stand mixer. With mixer on low speed, add pistachios and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) warm milk, beating until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium. If using food coloring, add it. Beat until color is green throughout. Turn out dough onto a work surface, and divide in half. Place one portion on a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a 6-inch square; wrap well in plastic wrap. Repeat with second portion of pistachio dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Remove one portion of dough from refrigerator. Roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper into an 8-inch square. Place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 portions of dough.
  5. Remove 1 halva dough square and 1 pistachio dough square from refrigerator. Peel off top sheet of parchment from each layer. Invert halva layer exactly onto pistachio layer. Place parchment back over layers, and gently roll to seal. Peel off top sheet of parchment. Starting at one side, roll dough into a log, using bottom sheet of parchment to help lift and roll. (If dough cracks, stop rolling, and let stand for a few minutes until pliable.) Be sure to roll doughs together as tightly as possible to avoid gaps. Trim any dough if uneven after rolling. Tightly wrap in parchment paper, twisting ends of parchment to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining doughs. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Coarsely grind rose petals in a coffee grinder; pour into a small bowl. Add remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, and stir to combine.
  8. Remove one log from refrigerator, and remove parchment. Cut two edges off cookie roll. Spread rose sugar in a small baking tray. Start rolling log in rose sugar to coat entire log. Roll back and forth a few times with slight pressure to make sure rose sugar sticks to log. Using a sharp knife, cut ¼-inch-thick slices. Place about 1 inch apart on prepared pans. Repeat with remaining log. Freeze for 10 minutes before baking so cookies hold their shape.
  9. Bake in upper and middle racks of oven for about 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Make sure cookies do not brown. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.


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  1. Could you please give me more information about halva? I”ve seen it as a spread, in a tin can, and as a loaf — I am unfamiliar with this ingredient, and I’m not sure exactly what I would be looking for to use it in baking applications. Thank you so much!

  2. Do we use the halva sold as a roll or a spread? Also, i see vanilla halva and pistachio halva for sale. Which one does this recipe call for?

    • Hi Mayra,

      Thanks for reaching out! You will want to use a classic halva, sold as a thick paste. The vanilla would also be a good substitute if you cannot find the original flavor.


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