These holiday pinwheel cookies have become my daughter Isabelle’s favorite new way to celebrate the season. We made these cookies over the weekend, and now I have a plate of them next to me as I’m wrapping presents and writing Christmas cards. What more festive way to welcome the holidays?
I made these cookies as part of Rodelle‘s yearly holiday cookie campaign. Rodelle’s lineup of baking extracts, from their reserve vanilla to their vanilla paste to the chocolate extract, are all staples in my baking cupboard, and front and center for the holidays. These pinwheel cookies use a sugar cookie dough that’s generously flavored with vanilla and almond extracts, colored red and green, and rolled up into a slice-and-bake log. You can also substitute the almond extract with peppermint if you really want to get into the holiday spirit.
This dough can be very soft, so don’t be afraid to let it chill if it becomes too sticky to work with. Also, if you have trouble rolling up the dough without it cracking or falling apart, the best tip I’ve found is to have the dough on a sheet of parchment or wax paper, and use that to help roll up the dough – the paper helps hold the dough together and smooth out any cracks. Once it’s rolled up in the paper, it’s easy to store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to slice and bake.
This recipe is also a great one to have on hand since it’s easy to adapt to other occasions – you can easily color the dough with other colors and decorate as you like. We have an extra roll in the refrigerator (after a week, wrap and freeze the dough) to have on hand off when you want to give a few to your neighbor or set out for Santa. I hope you are enjoying the holidays!
Holiday Pinwheel Cookies
- 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Rodelle vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Red and green food coloring
- Sprinkles as desired
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Put butter in bowl of stand mixer and beat on medium speed with paddle attachment until smooth and creamy. Add in the sugar and beat for several more minutes until very light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate. Add in the vanilla extract and almond extracts and beat to incorporate.
- Add in the flour mixture in several additions, beating just to incorporate.
- Divide dough into three equal portions. Form the first portion into a rough rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator.
- Add red food coloring as desired to second portion of dough and mix in the stand mixer until color is evenly incorporated. Form dough into a rough rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator.
- Add green food coloring as desired to second portion of dough and mix in the stand mixer until color is evenly incorporated. Form dough into a rough rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator.
- Chill dough for about an hour until it's firm and no longer soft and sticky. Take out first portion of dough from refrigerator and roll out between two sheets of parchment paper or wax paper to 1/4" thick. If the dough is too soft, return to refrigerator to chill some more before trying to roll out.
- Repeat rolling out process with the other two pieces of dough. Try to roll them out to about the same size rectangle so that you can stack the three layers on top of each other easily.
- Chill dough in refrigerator for another half hour to let them firm up again.
- Take out first piece of dough from refrigerator and take off top layer of parchment paper or wax paper.
- Take out second (red) piece of dough and take off top layer of paper. Place dough down over the first piece of dough and take off the other layer of paper.
- Take out third (green) piece of dough and take off top layer of paper. Place dough down over the first piece of dough and take off the other layer of paper. Run a rolling pin lightly over the top of dough to press the layers together.
- Starting at one end of the dough stack, roll up the dough into a log. If the dough is too hard and starts cracking, let it sit for a few minutes to soften. If the dough is too soft and starts falling apart, chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and try again. Tip: using the parchment paper as an aid to help roll up the dough helps hold it together and prevent it from cracking and falling apart so easily.
- Spread a layer of sprinkles over a baking sheet and roll the dough in it if desired.
- Chill the roll of dough in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4" thick slices from the roll of dough and place on prepared sheets.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes, rotating halfway through, until tops are firm and dry and edges are just starting to turn golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks.