Monday, December 17, 2012

Sugared Pinwheels

I couldn’t stay out of these simple sugar cookies. They are beautiful to look at, but more enjoyable to eat! I have always been a tiny bit intimidated by these rolled-up-versions of sugar cookies, but LET ME TELL YOU...this was so easy. Way easier than rolling, and stamping, and re-rolling regular sugar cookie dough. And I’m not going to lie, you know those sugar cookie dough rolls with the cute little christmas trees or snowmen that you can get at the grocery store? These taste JUST like that! Except they are homemade, which therefore gives you all-out access to the dough. O shoot. I might have eaten just as much dough as actual cooked cookies! AND they can sit in your fridge or freezer until you are ready to cut them and cook them, even better. What a great recipe to have on hand!

Sugared Pinwheels
Printable Version

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon red or green food coloring
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 tablespoon sanding sugar (clear or red), plus more for coating

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Remove half of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Add the almond extract, cocoa powder and food coloring to the remaining dough and beat until incorporated; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate both pieces of dough until firm, about 1 hour.

Dust the dough with flour and roll out each piece on parchment paper into a 10-by-11-inch rectangle. Flip the red/green dough on top of the plain dough; remove the top piece of parchment and trim the edges. This is optional, but at this point sprinkle the ground cinnamon and sanding sugar on top. Starting from a long end, tightly roll up the dough, using the parchment to help; roll the log in sanding sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. If you choose to freeze your dough, at this point wrap in tin foil as well and place in a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 months. When it comes time to bake, move to refrigerator to thaw for 3 hours prior to baking.

Preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Slice the log crosswise 1/4 inch thick; arrange the slices about 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until slightly puffed and lightly golden on the bottom, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool.

Recipe highly adapted from Food Network Magazine
Makes about 20 cookies

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