I am so excited to have a legitimate excuse to stay home and bake cookies all afternoon. The holiday season allows me this luxury and cookies of all shapes and sizes are acceptable. Not only do they produce a tasty sweet; they are a baking tradition steeped with personal and family history.
My personal goal is to bake at least 5 different cookies this holiday season. So on to #1! Chocolate Orange Pinwheels. I have never made a pinwheel cookie and have to admit I was rather intimidated. Could I really create that perfect swirl of vanilla and chocolate dough? These fetching treats came out almost perfect (a little bit of the chocolate dough got smudged) and their visual appeal makes them the perfect hostess gift. They're light and crunchy and although they require numerous steps, the overall preparation is easy.
Chocolate Orange Pinwheel Cookies (based on The New Basics Cookbook)
3 dozen Cookies
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temeperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in egg, orange zest and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Set aside 3/4 cup of batter.
- Add 1 cup of flour to the remaining batter, beating until smooth.
- Roll out the dough between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper to form a 12"x8" rectangle. Transfer the wrapped dough to a baking sheet and remove the top sheet of paper (if the paper sticks refrigerate dough for a few minutes).
- Beat the remaining 3/4 cup flour and the cocoa to the reserved batter. Once again roll out the dough by the same process. Remove the top sheet and invert the dough onto the first rectangle. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Remove top sheet of paper and starting on the long side, using the paper, roll the dough up tightly like a jelly roll. Refrigerate the dough wrapped in the bottom piece of paper for 1 hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
- Remove the paper and cut the roll into 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange them on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on racks.