Recipes » Appetizer Recipes » Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly

Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly

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A twist on the southern cheese straw made into a wafer and filled with chopped pecans and Mayhaw jelly.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly - a twist on the southern cheese straw made into a wafer and filled with chopped pecans and Mayhaw jelly. https://www.lanascooking.com/cheese-pinwheels-with-mayhaw-jelly/

Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly – a twist on the southern cheese straw made into a wafer and filled with chopped pecans and Mayhaw jelly.

I feel quite sure that everyone is familiar with the classic southern cheese straw, right? Those delightful little bites of sharp cheese and cayenne that are served at practically every get-together in the southern states?

Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly - a twist on the southern cheese straw made into a wafer and filled with chopped pecans and Mayhaw jelly. https://www.lanascooking.com/cheese-pinwheels-with-mayhaw-jelly/

Well, this recipe is the cheese straw’s first cousin – the cheese pinwheel. Plus it has a little something extra to set it apart and that thing is Mayhaw jelly.

Please raise your hand if you know what Mayhaw jelly is.

<sound of crickets chirping>

Well, then, let me introduce you! Mayhaw jelly is, surprisingly enough, made from Mayhaws. Mayhaws are native to the hot coastal areas of the south and they grow in sandy soils and swampy areas. And, let me tell you, there are plenty of sandy, swampy areas where I grew up.

What in the World are Mayhaws?

In the swamps and on stream banks all around Colquitt (Miller County), Georgia, you can easily find wild mayhaw trees. The season for mayhaws is pretty short, only about three weeks, and when they ripen in early May several enterprising folks make a business of gathering the fruit and offering it for sale. Colquitt even proclaims itself to be the Mayhaw Capital of the World and holds an annual Mayhaw Festival in honor of this favorite local treat.

When I was growing up we always had jars of Mayhaw jelly in the house. And as far as I’m concerned it’s simply the best jelly I’ve ever had. Mayhaws are kissing cousins to the crabapple and they make the prettiest, clear coral colored jelly you ever saw.

What Does it Taste Like?

The jelly tastes similar to a very sweet apple but with other fruit overtones like mango and pineapple. There’s really nothing quite like splitting open a hot buttermilk biscuit, slathering it with butter and popping in a spoonful of Mayhaw jelly. It’s simply something that has to be experienced to understand.

Mayhaw Jelly

Where Can You Get Some Mayhaw Jelly?

If you’d like to try this exotic delicacy of Mayhaw jelly for yourself, you can easily purchase a jar or two from Stripling’s General Store: http://www.striplings.com/jelly.aspx . I buy from Stripling’s quite often. They’re famous all around south Georgia for their sausage and the Mayhaw jelly is just fabulous.

If you just can’t wait to try these Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly and you don’t have any Mayhaw jelly on hand, substitute some good quality apple jelly. It won’t be exactly the same, but it’ll be close.

How to Make Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly

Mixing cheese and flour in a large mixing bowl.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the grated cheese and mix together thoroughly.

Add the softened butter, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Add the softened butter, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and form a dough. I usually mix as much as I can with a wooden spoon and then dump everything out onto a board and keep working the dough until I get it to come together. It takes a little effort, but it will eventually get itself together.

Dough divided into two balls.

Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Dough rolled into a square on a cutting board.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll each into a square or rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick. I use a bench scraper to help me shape the dough. Keep rolling and shaping the sides with the scraper until you get something resembling that above.

Spreading the dough square with Mayhaw jelly and chopped pecans.

Now for the best part! Spread the dough thinly with Mayhaw jelly then sprinkle all over with the chopped pecans.

Rolling up cheese pinwheels into a log shape.

Roll each into a log.

Confession time – I’m just going to tell you that this is not the easiest dough to work with. It wants to crack and crumble but you just have to go slowly remolding it all the time. I have to roll up a few inches, pinch and remold the dough, roll a little more, pinch it all together again…see? Don’t be discouraged, though, just take your time and it will come together beautifully.

Two rolls of finished pinwheels wrapped in plastic.

Wrap in the rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Pinwheel slices on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Slice each roll into pinwheels about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Baked pinwheels cooling on a rack.

Remove to a cooling rack.

These are great to serve at a shower or reception with tea. Or just have a couple of an ice cold Cola-Cola.

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Finished Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly lined up on a napkin.

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Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly - a twist on the southern cheese straw made into a wafer and filled with chopped pecans and Mayhaw jelly. https://www.lanascooking.com/cheese-pinwheels-with-mayhaw-jelly/

Cheese Pinwheels with Mayhaw Jelly

A twist on the southern cheese straw made into a wafer and filled with chopped pecans and Mayhaw jelly.
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 30 pinwheels
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup Mayhaw jelly
  • 1 cup pecans chopped

Instructions

  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the grated cheese and mix together thoroughly.
  • Add the softened butter, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and form a dough. I usually mix as much as I can with a wooden spoon and then dump everything out onto a board and keep working the dough until I get it to come together. It takes a little effort, but it will eventually get itself together.
  • Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll each into a square or rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick. I use a bench scraper to help me shape the dough. Keep rolling and shaping the sides with the scraper until you get something resembling that above.
  • Now for the best part! Spread the dough thinly with Mayhaw jelly then sprinkle all over with the chopped pecans.
  • Roll each into a log.
  • Wrap in the rolls in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Slice each roll into pinwheels about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Remove to a cooling rack.

Notes

I’m just going to tell you that this is not the easiest dough to work with. It wants to crack and crumble but you just have to go slowly remolding it all the time. I have to roll up a few inches, pinch and remold the dough, roll a little more, pinch it all together again…see? Don’t be discouraged, though, just take your time and it will come together beautifully.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1pinwheel | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 264IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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46 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I found it on Tasty Kitchen last week and was so excited. I had an aunt who made these but would not share her recipe. This must be the same recipe!

    As a South Georgia girl, I am going to love following your blog. :)

  2. I saw this recipe on TK this morning and immediately thought of our friends in Louisiana who gifted us with a jar of Mayhew Jelly. (Never had heard of it prior.) Then I realized the BLT bites recipe that I will be trying this weekend is also yours. Nice co-inky-dink! I’m going to have go exploring more thoroughly on your site me thinks….I immediately forwarded he pinwheel recipe to Louisiana – I think they’ll like it too. Thanks, Pat

    1. Glad I could give you another use for that gorgeous Mayhaw jelly. Of course, it’s always good on a hot biscuit with butter!

  3. How wonderful that you are featuring a recipe with such an incredible local product! The pinwheels look so yummy. I’ll definitely have to give these a try! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I had no idea what Mayhaw jelly was but it sounds fabulous! And those pinwheels? could probably eat the entire batch – WOW!

    1. These pinwheels are strangely addictive. Something about that combination of salty and sweet, tangy cheese with nuts that is just wonderful!

  5. Just thought I’d mention that Stripling’s also has the best beef jerky I’ve ever put in my mouth — (actually, I’ve never been much of a fan until I ate theirs) I attended a food/culinary event at the Galleria a few months ago and they were handing out samples – I was hooked immediately! Ironically, I had their catalogue in my “to do” pile next to my laptop to remind myself to place an order – guess I need to add mayhaw jelly to the list —

    1. Yes, that jerky is really good, isn’t it? Of course, they’re most famous for their sausage, but I never gotten anything from there that wasn’t just delicious.

  6. Thanks for the intro to Mayhaw Jelly! This is totally new to me. I think I may have to have some shipped in—I’m dying to try it!

  7. I am very familiar with those darn thorny shrubs – worst that a rose bush but the fruit sure is fine for marmalade and jelly. Your pinwheels are exactly like the ones my aunt in LA made, but I think her recipe uses more cayenne. These are great at cocktail parties too – some folks like the cheesy sweet/heat with drinks… me for one.

  8. Lana, these look terrific! I never heard of mayhaw jelly but I love the sound of it. These would be good as a thumbprint style “cookie”. I’m drooling!

  9. I guess you can add me to the list of people who have never heard of Mayhaw jelly. That’s really interesting. I’m intrigued to try it now.

  10. My mama left a comment on this post on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here as well. Here’s what she said:

    “I am so proud of you. If you can make these you can make anything. Boy are they hard to make. They originated with Mrs Maude Wilkin who lived across the street from Ma Mag & Pa Guyte. Wilkin’s IGA uses her receipe for theirs and for the pound cake that they make. She was a special lady and did a lot of good things in her time. “

  11. Can you believe the poor souls who have never experienced Mayhaw jelly? That’s culinary deprivation! A real tragedy. Sometimes, if I am desperate and have not made jelly or had the time to get in a supply from one of the local purveyors, I have been known to substitute plum jelly. But, only out of utter desperation.

    This recipe has that “sweet and salty thing” that really gives it zip. Kind of like pineapple casserole. You just don’t know how to explain it if you haven’t tasted it.

    Miss P

    1. Hi Lana, I have eaten Mayhew jelly ALL my life as I’m from central Louisiana and have the wild trees here too. My other favorite jelly is wild Muscadine jelly! Do you think I could substitute with the muscadine? This recipe sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing!!

  12. Lana, those looks so amazing. I never heard of mayhaw let alone mayhaw jelly before. I am gonna give this a try cheese and jelly sound like a perfect combination.

  13. This recipe is right up my ally. I love the combination of pecans, cheese, and cayenne–one of my favorite cheese ball recipes combines those ingredients. The Mayhaw jelly is totally new to me. Never heard of it. Thanks for providing ordering information. I want to try the real thing with your recipe, rather than a substitute. This jelly sounds like a fun gift for foodie friends, too. Thanks for the introduction to something new!

    1. As a follow up: I went online after writing my comment this morning and order some Mayhaw jelly from Stripling’s. I just received an email from them that my order had already been shipped. Great service! I’ll be able to try out this recipe even sooner than expected.

      1. They have amazing service, Monica! Once I ordered some jelly from them and when it arrived the top of one of the jars had unsealed in transport. I called them and explained the problem. The young lady on the phone said not to worry they’d take care of it. The next day I had a new jar of jelly – they had actually overnighted that one jar of jelly, no charge whatsoever. They really do exist to please their customers and that’s why they have such loyal ones!

      2. One more update. I ordered my jelly on Wed. Aug 25, and much to my surprise it was delivered to my door (in St. Louis) on Friday, Aug 27. Very impressive service from Stripling’s. Now I can try your recipe right away. Can’t wait.

  14. OK, I just can’t get over how the jar says “You never sausage a place” That is AMAZING! And now I think I need it just for that! Seriously though, I had never heard of Mayhaw Jelly, but now I totally want some. These look awesome!

    1. I know, it’s so cute isn’t it? If you’re ever traveling down I-75 in Georgia, stop off at exit 99 in Cordele. Stripling’s is just a few miles down the road and they have so many fabulous southern products for sale. The entire back of the store is a meat market with butchers just waiting to custom cut anything you want or pack the exact amount of sausage you wish. You would love it.

  15. Thanks for the introduction to mayhaw jelly and a great recipe that uses it! I’ve never made anything like this before.

    1. I hope you’ll give it a try. If you can’t get or don’t want to use the mayhaw jelly, just sub a really good apple jelly for it.

  16. Girl! These look so delicious – I’ve have cheese shortbread and cheese straws, but the idea of adding nuts and a sweet sound delicious! Really beautiful pictures, too.

  17. I am the proud owner of a case of Mayhaw jelly that I made a few weeks ago. A friend asked if I picked the mayhaws. I said yes, indeed, I “picked up the phone” when Truitt called and asked if I wanted some. They were picked and cleaned when they arrived. We have already enjoyed some with another Georgia favorite, peanut butter. Ah, the taste.

    This is supposedly the way that the older generation served cheese pinwheels in Miller County. I mean, the really older ones. Polly’s contemporaries. Or older.

    Thanks. Take care.

    Miss P

    1. You’ll probably be the only person to comment who has ever heard of Mayhaws :-) This is a really, really old recipe. I’ve had it in my files as long as I can remember!

      1. I have grown up eating mayhaw jelly. It is by far the best tasting jelly I have ever had. You are right, there is no great way to describe it to anyone. You just have to try it to understand it’s greatness! Loved the article!