- 2 Medium Mixing Bowls
- Wax Paper
- Rolling Pin
- Sewing thread OR unscented dental floss
- Baking Sheet
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (OR peppermint extract, if you prefer)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon red food coloring (or less if you have a more concentrated food coloring (I used 1 teaspoon gel))
- 1/4 cup Christmas Nonpareilles (round sprinkles)
Make Cookie Dough:
- Cream wet ingredients: Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and both extracts and beat until combined.
- Add dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt well. Add to butter mixture and mix on low speed until combined into a cookie dough.
- Color dough: Tip out half of the cookie dough mix on your work surface and knead a few times until smooth. Set aside. Add the red food coloring to the remaining half of cookie dough in your mixing bowl and mix with your hand mixer on low speed until fully incorporated. Add more coloring as needed (I used about one teaspoon gel).
- Roll out and layer: Place plain dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll out to a rectangle of about 8×15 inches. Repeat process with red dough. Peel top layer of wax paper off both doughs, then invert red dough on top of the plain dough. Gently roll over both doughs with the rolling pin a few times (make it no larger than 9×16 inches) to make sure both doughs stick together. Remove top layer of way paper.
- Roll and slice: Trim short sides to make them even, then roll up into a log starting at one of the short sides. Place nonpareilles in a shallow baking dish (make sure your dough log fits) and roll the log in the sprinkles. Using a piece of unscented dental floss or sewing string, carefully slice into 1/4 inch thick slices (see notes for step photos).
- Chill: Place sliced cookies on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Refrigerate for 15 – 30 minutes, or until firm and cold.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies in batches for 10 minutes (one tray at a time, keep the others refrigerated) or until just starting to turn golden on the bottom (do not overbake). Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Step by Step Photos:Make sure to only mix the dough with the mixer just until combined. If you overtax it, the cookies could turn out tough instead of soft. Knead the plain dough a few times until smooth, but do not overwork it. It’s important to have it soft so it doesn’t crack during rolling, but I try to knead less than 10 times.
- slide the thread underneath the log
- hold both ends up and cross them over
- pull both ends to slice off a 1/4 inch thick cookie (make sure to pull evenly)
Freezer Instructions:I actually don’t recommend freezing this dough to make the pinwheel cookies– it’s a lot harder to work into this shape after freezing. To freeze the baked cookies: Place the cooled cookies in freezer-friendly boxes in layers (separate layers with wax paper), label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months) before sticking in the freezer. To defrost, remove from the freezer container and place on a wire rack on the counter for a few hours, until defrosted. Your sprinkles may discolor a little sure to the moisture from defrosting, the wire rack helps combating it a little.
Storage Instructions:The cookies keep well in closed cookie tins at room temperature for 1-2 weeks though.
More Christmas Cookies You’ll Love:
Or browse all my easy cookie recipes for more ideas!