Thursday, December 17, 2009

25 Days of Treats: Peppermint Pinwheels

Last year I watched a Food Network special on Christmas cookies called Paula's Cookie Swap hosted by Paula Dean. I was so inspired that I made a few of them, but the peppermint pinwheels were by far my favorite. I changed it up a bit though, and use finely crushed candy canes instead of peppermint extract. I like it because it still gives the peppermint flavor, but you also get a nice crunchiness that goes well with the softness of the cookie. As I mentioned before, I do not like candy canes so this is something I can do to use up all those unwanted candy canes laying around the house.

Peppermint Pinwheels
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 finely chopped candy canes or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
  • Special equipment: 24 lollipop sticks (optional)


Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together in another large bowl. Add egg and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and the candy canes or peppermint extract. Gradually add the dry mixture, beating until combined. Remove half of the mixture from the bowl. Add food coloring, beating until fully combined. In waxed paper, roll out dough to form a large rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat this step with the other half of uncolored dough with no food coloring. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Tear out 1 sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Sprinkle the surface of the paper with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Very carefully, slide the red dough on top of the white dough. Trim edges if uneven and patch if necessary. Roll dough into a log, creating a swirl effect.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the dough into 1/2-inch slices and place on a parchment lined sheet tray about 1-inch apart. At this point you can place a lollipop stick about 1-inch through the flat side of the dough. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

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