Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheel Cookies
I struggled this week to come up with something to send to Karin for the homeless. Her numbers have really grown over the past few weeks and she's now feeding around 80+ people. That's a lot of sweets.

So, I knew I'd need to do a recipe that would allow me to bake off several dozen of something without taking up the whole week. I finally decided on a recipe for Pinwheel Cookies. With a little economy and rolling the cookies a little smaller than the original recipe calls for, I easily got a total of 10 dozen cookies!

This recipe utilizes a classic vanilla cookie dough alongside a chocolate cookie dough to create a swirl pattern. It's a pleasant cookie that makes a great filler in gift tins or baskets because of it's pretty swirl pattern. I opted to use a little almond flavoring alongside the vanilla in the lighter dough to give it a little more depth and added a couple teaspoons of strong cold coffee to the cocoa dough to create a stronger chocolate flavor.

These are actually fairly easy to do and I even rolled some in decorative sugar for a sparling effect.

1 pound butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tsp. baking powder
6 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. strong coffee, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract

In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add baking powder, salt and egg yolks and stir until incorporated. Add half of flour and beat until incorporated. Add milk and remaining flour and stir until dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead together with hands until dough holds together nicely and is smooth. Using a bench scraper or knife, divide dough in half. Return half of dough to mixer and beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Turn dough out onto piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap.

Take second half of dough and return to mixer. Beat in cocoa and coffee until dough is smooth and uniform in color. Turn dough out onto piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate both disks for 10-30 minutes.

Remove chocolate dough from refrigerator and roll into 9x12" rectangle about 1/4" thick. Remove vanilla/almond dough and roll into 9x12" rectangle. Place vanilla/almond dough on top of chocolate dough and roll up like a jelly roll from the short end.

Roll dough back and forth with hands until it measures about 2 inches in diameter. Divide dough in half. Take one half of the dough and continue rolling back and forth with hands until dough is about 1 1/2" in diameter. Repeat with second piece.

Wrap both pieces in plastic wrap and refrigerate from 1 to 4 hours or until dough is firm.

Preheat oven to 350°. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into 1" slices. Arrange two inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cookies are just firm. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Store in airtight containers for up to 5 days.
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