CINNAMON PINWHEELS

These red and white pinwheel cookies were a pretty addition to my Christmas cookie trays.  The recipe is slightly modified from the Food Network’s Cinnamon Pinwheels.  This was the first time I made these, and mine were admittedly not as perfect as the Food Network’s — but they were still attractive and delicious, and disappeared quickly.  Next year they’ll be more pinwheel-y.  🙂

CINNAMON PINWHEELS
Print
Recipe type: Cookies
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coarse or sparkling sugar, plus extra for rolling dough in
Instructions
  1. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat, using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour, baking powder, and salt, until just combined.
  3. Remove half of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Add the cocoa powder and food coloring to the remaining dough, and beat until thoroughly combined. Wrap red dough in plastic wrap.
  4. Refrigerate both pieces of dough until firm, about 1 hour.
  5. Dust the dough lightly with flour and roll out each piece on parchment paper into a 10x11" rectangle. Flip the red dough on top of the plain dough, remove the top piece of parchment, and trim the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon and coarse sugar on top. Starting from a short end, tightly roll up the dough, using the parchment to help. Roll the log in coarse sugar. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the log crosswise into ¼"-thick slices. Place on baking sheet 1-1/2" apart. Bake until slightly puffed and lightly golden on the bottom, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool briefly, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

 

CHEWY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

These intensely chocolate cookies with a chewy texture were a big hit.  Use good quality bittersweet chocolate for best results.

CHEWY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
Print
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ cup sugar, plus ½ cup extra for rolling cookies in
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together corn syrup, egg white, and vanilla.
  3. Place the butter, brown sugar, and ⅓ cup sugar in a large bowl and beat using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the corn syrup mixture and beat until combined. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and chocolate, and mix just until combined. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Place ½ cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll dough into 1" balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place on cookie sheet approximately 2" apart, and bake for approximately 10 minutes, until cookies are cracked but still look wet between cracks. Allow to cool briefly on sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

SPLIT SECONDS

My Mom used to make jam-filled Split Seconds every year at the holidays.  These were one of her favorites because in addition to tasting good, you can bang out 4 dozen in no time.  When I looked up the recipe, I was surprised to see it was actually a Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe from 1954.  These added a little bit of nostalgia to my cookie trays this year.
SPLIT SECONDS
Print
Recipe type: Cookies
Author:
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup jam or preserves
  • Optional glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat using an electric beater until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg until well blended. Add flour and baking powder, and beat on low speed until dough forms.
  3. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion into 12x3/4-inch roll. Place rolls on cookie sheet. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or your finger, make an indentation lengthwise down the center of each roll approximately ½ inch wide and ¼ inch deep. Be careful not to press all the way through the dough. Fill the indentation in each roll with approximately 2 tablespoons preserves (it is easier to spoon preserves if you warm them slightly in microwave). Don't overfill indentations.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing diagonally into 12 cookies. If using optional glaze, do so before slicing the cookies. Make the glaze by whisking the confectioner's sugar together with enough milk to make a smooth drizzle, not too runny. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Allow glaze to set before slicing and storing.

Fill the indentations with your favorite jam

Allow to cool slightly before cutting on the diagonal

Drizzled with glaze

Especially nice with tea

PISTACHIO CRANBERRY ICEBOX COOKIES

With the red and green from the cranberries and pistachios, this is an obvious choice for Christmas cookies.  The dough is a little bit of a hassle to work with — very crumbly — but the end result is worth it because these are wonderful.  The recipe is slightly adapted from Liz The Chef, who in turn, adapted the recipe from Gourmet.

PISTACHIO CRANBERRY ICEBOX COOKIES
Print
Recipe type: Cookies
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter (1-1/2 sticks), softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup coarse or sparkling sugar
Instructions
  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, orange juice, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt, and continue to beat on low speed until the dough comes together in clumps. Mix in pistachios and cranberries.
  2. Gather the dough together and divide into 2 pieces. Shape each piece into a log approximately 1-1/2 inches thick. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour the coarse or sparkling sugar onto a plate. Brush each log with the beaten egg, then roll in the sugar. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into ¼-inch slices, and place on cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake until edges of the cookies are lightly golden, approximately 12-15 minutes. Remove to racks to cool.