Sometimes I want an award for simply making it through a trip to the mall during the holidays. First places goes to Heather, for smiling politely at the customer that cut her off in the checkout line at Gap. Meritorious achievement for giving money to the Salvation Army bell ringer on her way into the mall. Team player award for helping an older lady with her bags up the steps.
This holiday season, I’ve decided to take on a baking challenge. Over the course of December, I will be featuring 12 holiday desserts on my blog. My inspiration was the Twelve Days of Christmas (only minus the partridge, turtle doves, and swans). If all goes well, come December 25th I will have shared 12 different tasty treats with you in the hopes that they will inspire your holiday baking.
Day 1: Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 drop red food coloring, or as needed
1 drop green food coloring, or as needed
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a bowl. Beat the butter with the brown and white sugars in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until evenly blended. Gather the dough into a ball, and divide into two equal parts. Place one half in a second bowl. Add red food coloring to the dough in one bowl, and green food coloring to the dough in the other bowl. Use a fork or wooden spoon to blend the food coloring into the dough until evenly blended. Add additional drops of food coloring to make the desired shade.
Roll out the red dough to 1/4 thickness. Roll out the green dough to 1/4 inch thickness, and place on top of the red dough. Beginning on one edge, roll the doughs to make a log so the two colors spiral inside each other. Wrap the log in waxed paper, then in a cotton towel, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Unwrap the dough log, and place on a clean, lightly floured surface. Slice the log into rounds 1/8 inch thick, and place on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven until set, 5 to 6 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent edges from browning. Remove from oven, and cool on racks.
Heather’s Helpful Hints
To get bright vibrant colors for your cookies, try using gel food coloring. Unlike water-based food coloring that you typically find in supermarkets, gel food coloring has a much more intense color. You don’t need to use nearly as much coloring, sometimes only a few drops, to get the same color effect (or better).