Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pinwheel Cookies

I've been a busy, busy baker! The Christmas baking marathon has officially started in my house. Since I've ran out of eggs, I'm taking the day off to blog.

I originally saw this recipe on Annie's Eats blog and knew immediately that I needed to make it. I went into it knowing it was going to be a bit of a challenge since I've never done anything like this before. But I had no idea just how hard it would be! From the dough being too crumbly to stay together to burning the better half of the batch of dough, you name a baking conundrum and it probably happened. I'm going to make another attempt to make these since I think I've figured out what I did wrong.

Despite the obstacles I encountered, these cookies turned out DELICIOUS! Do you remember those yummy little cookies that come in tins usually around this time of year? These are those kind of cookies, only a million times better! They're absolutely mouthwatering, I believe you'll thoroughly enjoy these little delights.

I made 2 batches of dough, one plain and another chocolate, so I could roll them together to make the pinwheels. Here's the list of ingredients for ONE batch of dough. Don't skimp on the butter, not only will your dough completely fall apart but the flavor of the cookie won't be completely developed. I know it's a lot but trust me, you won't be sorry.


1 large egg
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Place the egg in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile fill up a small bowl (I used my measuring cup) with ice water.

2. After the egg has sat for 10 minutes, transfer the egg into the ice water and let sit for 5 minutes.

3. Once egg has sat in ice water for 5 minutes, carefully crack the egg and peel away the shell. Separate the yolk from the white and discard the white.

4. Press the yolk through a fine mesh strainer. My yolk was bright yellow like a raw yolk is but was a thicker consistency than a raw yolk, it wasn't runny at all. It's not supposed to be pale yellow like a hard boiled egg. I tried to get a good picture of the yolk so you have an idea of it's consistency. Here's my best attempt:

5. In the bowl with the egg yolk, combine butter, sugar, and salt with an electric beater. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

6. Once butter mixture is light and fluffy, turn the mixer down to low and beat in vanilla until well incorporated.

7. Add the flour and mix on low speed until everything's combined. Then use your hands to press the dough into a ball. If the dough is crumbling apart, add more butter 1 tbsp at a time until it's no longer crumbly.

8. Divide the dough ball in half and set aside.

9. Repeat steps 1 thru 8 but instead only using 1 1/3 cups of flour and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to make the chocolate dough.

10. Once you have the plain and chocolate doughs separated, roll out each dough half on lightly floured wax paper until it forms a rectangle that's about 1/4 inch thick.

11. Place one rectangle of chocolate dough on top of one rectangle of plain dough and roll dough starting with the long end into a tight log. Use the wax paper to help you roll the dough. I tried using my hands and the dough was sticking to the paper when I tried pulling it off. When I used the wax paper to roll and then pull the paper off the dough, it came up just fine. Twist ends of wax paper and chill for 1 hour. Repeat with the remaining halfs of dough.

12. Once dough has chilled for an hour, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your dough logs into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Be sure to rotate your log after every few slices so the log doesn't become misshaped.

13. Place the cookie rounds an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake cookies for 15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through. Allow cookies to cool.

Like I said before, these cookies were difficult for me to make but were absolutely delicious. Here's a few mistakes I made that I want to share with you so you don't make them as well.

  • I rolled and chilled the plain dough and chocolate dough into loges without stacking them first. I thought that I would be able to roll the dough out once it had chilled, and I was wrong. I had to let the dough soften up and go repeat steps 10 & 11.
  • I put the dough in the freezer and I think I should've put it in the refrigerator. The dough fell apart when I was slicing it and I think it was because the dough was too hard. Next time I make this recipe I'm going to put it in the fridge and make sure it's slightly soft when I slice it.
  • Lastly, my ADD got the best of me and I forgot about a batch I had in the oven when I was organizing my pantry. I'll be investing in a kitchen timer this weekend.
  • I also forgot to rotate the cookie sheet halfway through (thanks again, ADD)

Enjoy! Let me know how your attempt goes!

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