Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pinwheel cookies

Every year when I make these cookies, I swear that I'm never going to make them again. Then I think about how pretty they are and how nice they look on a cookie tray, and I cave. These are very labor intense - it involves rolling out 9 pieces of dough almost paper thin, but I think it's worth it! The dough is a shortbread dough, so it's not overly sweet, and the cookies taste great with coffee or hot cocoa.

Pinwheel Cookies
Original Source: Unknown, my aunt gave me the recipe

Ingredients: (you will need to make 3 separate batches, so when you are gathering ingredients, keep in mind that you will need 3 times the amounts listed below):

  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ tablespoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ tablespoon milk
  • food coloring (red and green)
  • pearl sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Stir together flour and sugar
  • Cut in butter using either a stand mixer or pastry blender
  • Stir in milk, almond extract and food coloring
  • Form dough into a ball and knead until smooth (the dough is dry, it will take some work to incorporate all the ingredients into a smooth dough)
  • Make 3 batches - red, green and white
  • Chill dough 1 hour
  • Separate each color of dough into 3rds for a total of 9 balls of dough
  • Roll each ball of dough into an 8x10 sheet on wax paper
  • Chill sheets of dough until firm
  • Layer one sheet of each color, brushing lightly with milk in between layers
  • Roll jellyroll style from the 10" end, rolling as tightly as possible
  • Chill logs until firm (I put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes)
  • Brush logs with beaten egg white, then roll in pearl sugar
  • Slice the logs into ¼" slices
  • Bake on parchment paper for 10 minutes


Melissa said...

Oh they are so pretty! I thought making checkerboard cookies were a pain. I can only imagine doing 3 colors. I'm going to save this, because, like you, I'll probably look at them next year and cave over their beauty!

Joelen said...

So colorful and perfect for the holidays!

Bridget said...

Wow...incredible! I bet they are such a huge hit!

Anonymous said...

I made these cookies using your cookies...found it useless to cool cookies before rolling, it made it very difficult they kept breaking and were very stiff. I made a batch not cooling before rolling and it was like a piece of cake.