December 23, 2013

pinwheel cookies

It must be over 20 years and many Christmasses ago when I first started baking these cookies back in Manila. I always thought the pinwheel design makes them quite attractive. Somehow, these cookies have always been my special Christmas project as I never made them any other time of the year. I remember it was a challenge to make them not just because I was then a newbie at baking but also because I had to deal with warm weather baking in Manila. The heat and humidity made it more difficult to shape the cookies. I had to take the dough in and out of the refrigerator several times during the rolling and shaping process.

chocolate and vanilla pinwheel cookies
I like how they get extra crispy along the edges and like most butter cookies, they're best eaten while warm. Any basic slice and bake butter cookie recipe works great, just divide them into batches of different colors and flavors. It's best for the cookie dough to be well chilled so I make it a day or two ahead. The tricky part is the layering and rolling. I put the rolled out dough back in the fridge while I work on the other batches. This way, the dough stays cold and much easier to handle. To help retain the round shape, I place the cookie rolls (wrapped in plastic) into cardboard cylinders that I saved from gift wrappers. The rolled cookie dough fits well inside those cylinders.

all lined up and ready to bake
I have many fond memories of baking these cookies for my family at Christmas. I used to wrap them in clear cellophane and give them as gifts to my friends as well. They also look festive on the Christmas table or stored in clear glass cookie jars. May these pinwheel cookies bring happy smiles to many cookie lovers this holiday season!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

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