How to Make Pinwheel Cookies

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Checkout my video collection of cookies and other treats that are great for holiday gift giving or for everyday baking. All the recipes can be found in my website. Enjoy!

Basic Pinwheel Cookie Recipe

Cookies are supposedly easy to make, right? At least that’s what I thought, and I have to say I was wrong.Not all cookies are created equal. Some requires only few ingredients but could be quite challenging to make like French Macaroons. I usually shy away from recipes that have a lot of ingredients or steps.I want something quick so that I can immediately see the result.I made an exception for this cookie. When I saw this, I knew immediately that I will make it.The smooth and crunchy texture combined with its beautiful alternating flavor is difficult for me to resist. The steps looked intimidating, that was my first reaction when I saw it. I eventually convinced myself to take on the challenge and make it.I am still a fan of simple and quick recipes, but it won’t hurt from time to time to get out of my comfort zone.This Pinwheel cookie really took me out of my comfort zone, but it is all worth it. Let’s get started!

Basin Pinwheel Cookies Recipe


  • 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 10 oz. (1-1/4 cups) unsalted butter, slightly  softened
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and still warm

Prepare the cookie dough:

  1. Dry Ingredients: Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  2. Wet Ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 min. Add the sugar in a steady stream and mix for another 2 min.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just until combined.
  5. Divide the batter: Remove 2 cups less 2  tbsp of the dough for the chocolate portion( about 510g). There will be more chocolate dough than vanilla dough. Set aside the remaining dough for the vanilla portion of the cookie (about 475g).
  6. Make the chocolate dough: Then mix the espresso and cocoa powder into the set aside chocolate dough (the 2 cups less 2 tbsp dough). Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the warm melted chocolate and mix just until thoroughly combined. If your dough is too soft and sticky, chill in the fridge until you are able to handle it for shaping.

Divide and shape the dough:

  1. Divide the dough: Divide the vanilla dough and chocolate dough into three equal pieces. (For accuracy, use a scale.) , you should end up with 6 pieces in total.
  2. Shape and Chill the dough: Shape each piece into a 5×5-inch square on a piece of plastic wrap and wrap well.
  3. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. If the dough becomes too hard, let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling.
  4. While the dough is chilling, tear off twelve 12-inch squares of waxed paper. Roll each piece of dough the 5×5 dough into a 7×7-inch square between two sheets of the waxed paper. The dough will be thinner and bigger.
  5. Without removing the waxed paper, layer the squares of dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 to 15  min.

Roll the cookie dough:

  1. Layer the cookie dough: To layer the cookies, remove one square of the vanilla dough and one square of the chocolate dough from the refrigerator and peel off the top sheet of waxed paper from each. Invert the chocolate square over the vanilla square (or vanilla can go on top of chocolate; try some of each for variety), taking care to align the two layers as evenly as possible. Cover the top with parchment paper. Using your rolling pin, gently roll over the dough to seal the layers together. Peel off the top layer of waxed paper once done.
  2. Roll the cookie dough: Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you, carefully curl the edge of the dough up and over with your fingertips, so no space is visible in the center of the pinwheel. Roll as tight as possible. Using the waxed paper as an aid, continue rolling the dough into a tight cylinder. After the cylinder is formed, roll it back and forth on the counter to slightly elongate it and compact it.
  3. Wrap the cookie dough: Transfer the log to the plastic wrap, centering it on the long edge closest to you. Roll tightly, twisting the ends of the plastic firmly to seal. With your hands on either end of the log, push firmly toward the center to compact the dough. It should be about 9 inches long and 1-1/2  inches thick (doesn’t have to be exact) Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Chill the dough: Refrigerate the logs until firm enough to slice, about 3  hours, or freeze for up to three  months.

Slice and bake the cookies:

Basic Choclolate Vanilla Pinwheel Cookie Recipe

  1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Pre-heat oven: Heat the oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
  3. Slice the dough: Working with one log at a time, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife to slice the dough into 3/16-inch rounds. Set the rounds about 1 inch apart on the prepared pans and bake until the tops of the cookies feel set, 12 to 14 min. (don’t let the edges become too brown).
  4. Bake: To ensure even browning, rotate the sheets as needed during baking. Let the baked cookies stand for 1 minute on the pan. While they’re still warm, use a thin metal spatula to transfer them to racks.
  5. Cool: When cool, store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to three months.

Bsic Pinwheel Cookie

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Try it and let me know how it goes. Feel free to share this recipe and let’s get the community baking!♥

Recipe Adapted from: Fine Cooking

Categories: Baking, Cookies, Recipe

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