Made with chocolate and vanilla dough, these pinwheel cookies are buttery, sweet and have a fun old fashioned look that is easy to make. Our recipe makes a full batch of nearly 5-dozen delicious pinwheel cookies from scratch, using simple steps that are easier to follow than most recipes, although it does require a bit of patience. Trust us though, these pinwheel cookies are absolutely worth the wait! They’re perfect for handing out to friends and family during the holidays, a great treat to take to a party, and easy to pack up for a little one to take to school.
Basic Chocolate & Vanilla Pinwheel Cookies
- Measuring Cup
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- white sparkling sugar
- In one large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients; flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another large mixing bowl, add softened butter and sugar, then mix with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Next add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition; then add vanilla. Finally, add flour mixture from the other large bowl and beat on low with mixer until just combined.
- Divide combined dough in half. Form 1 one half into a 4 in. by 4 in. square; wrap it in plastic wrap and set the vanilla dough aside. Return the other half to the mixer; add melted chocolate to the dough in the mixer and beat it just until combined. Next form this chocolate dough into a 4 in. by 4 in. square and wrap it in plastic wrap. Take both squares of dough and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes.
- Once 30-minutes have passed, on parchment paper, roll vanilla dough into a 16 in. x 12 in. rectangle about 1/8 in. thick. On another sheet of parchment paper, roll chocolate dough into a 16 in. x 12 in. rectangle about 1/8 in. thick.
- Carefully place chocolate dough on top of vanilla dough and peel away parchment. Cut the combined dough in half horizontally.
- Roll each cut half into a tight log. and roll in colored sugar to coat dough log.
- Wrap dough logs in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for at least 3-hours. Dough logs can be left in the refrigerator as long as overnight.
- When ready, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice dough logs into 1/4 in. pieces. Space them 1 in. apart on as many cookie sheets as needed. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until vanilla portions of the pinwheel cookie dough is lightly golden.
- Remove pinwheel cookies from the oven, then cool.
How to Add Sprinkles Before Baking Cookies
Decorating your cookies doesn’t get any easier than this! Top your cut shapes with sparkling sugar, nonpareils or jimmies for a quick color makeover, then bake. You can also roll dough or mix sparkling sugar or sprinkles right into your cookie dough for a little sparkle.
Rolling Out Dough On Parchment Paper
Parchment is a happy medium for preparing and baking cookies. It’s oven-safe, so you can use one sheet for rolling out, cutting and baking; you won’t have to lift individual cookies onto your cookie sheet. With parchment, bottoms won’t burn and clean-up is quick and easy; parchment is non-stick, so there’s no need to use non-stick pan spray.