Christmas Cookies – Christmas Pinwheel Cookies and More

The history of cookies goes back to the time of Alexander the Great, and perhaps even earlier. It is no wonder there are so many varieties of these easy to carry treats. Pinwheel cookies are no exception. Whether you are combining two different colors or flavors of dough, or rolling dough with a filling, these cookies are pretty to look at and tasty treats to eat.

For a filled Christmas Pinwheel Cookie try this. You will need:

1 1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberry raisins)
1 cup pistachios
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Put the craisins and nuts in a food processor and chop coarsely. Just use the pulse a few times. Place this mixture in a small saucepan with the water and 1/4 cup of sugar. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Cream the butter, sugars, egg and vanilla. Sift the flour, soda and, salt, together and add to the creamed mixture. You should get a medium soft dough. Chill 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out between sheets of wax paper. You want a large rectangle. Spread the nut and craisin mixture evenly across the dough, almost to the edge. You will roll from the long side so the filling can extend to the edges of the short sides and about 1/8 inch from the edges of the long sides. Starting at one long side, use the wax paper to help you roll the dough. Press the seam slightly. I use a fork to add a little decorative edge. Just gently press the fork across the length of the seam to create little indentations, much like you might do on a pie crust.

Wrap the cookie-roll in wax paper and chill until firm. When ready to bake, Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Bake on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.

Here is a tip. If you use a new, clean, piece of dental floss as your knife you won’t end up with cookies that are flat on one side. Simply slide a length of the floss beneath the roll. pull the ends up and over the dough and cross them, like you were about to tie a shoelace. Pull and the floss will evenly cut through the dough. Move down and repeat. Toss the floss when done.

Bake the cookies about 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown. Wait one minute before removing to a wire rack to cool. You may wish to lightly sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture, or confectioners sugar before serving. Santa loves these and the sugar-coating my reveal his true identity.

You can also make Pinwheel cookies by mixing up two batches of your favorite refrigerator cookie dough. You can even use the packaged cookie mixes if you like. My family loves old-fashioned sugar cookies. Tint one batch with food coloring. Roll each into a rectangle and layer one atop the other. cake bars disposable Roll, chill, cut, bake and serve. Be adventuresome. Spread some raspberry jam between layers of plain and green tinted dough for a festive cookie.

If you are in a hurry or are pressed for time, you may decide to make drop cookies your choice. There are many to choose from. Try these delicate cookies. They have a big pecan flavor and are a great addition to a cookie tray as well as a unique and welcome hostess gift.

For these Pecan Lace Cookies You will need:

1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup butter,melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, use pure extract if you can. It is a difference in taste.
1/2 cup pecan halves for garnish
Using a food processor, process the pecans and sugar until finely ground. Use the pulse. You don’t want pecan butter. Place in a bowl and stir in the sifted flour,powder, and salt.

Prepare your cookie sheets by lining with foil and greasing or use parchment paper sprayed with a cooking spray. You could also use a silicon pad.

In another bowl beat the egg. Add the melted butter and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls about 3 inches apart onto the prepared pans. Press 1/2 of a pecan into the center of each cookie.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and ‘lacy’ in appearance. Cookies should be allowed to cool on the pans before removing.

Optional: You can carefully remove the warm cookies while they are still soft and pliable by rolling them lightly around the handle of a wooden spoon. Slide them off gently and allow to finish cooling. When they are cooled they can be served with a filling of whipped topping mixed with fruit, or any other filling of your choice. IF you choose this option, keep in mind that you will need to fill and serve immediately. Cookies will get soggy if left to sit with fillings. Store flat between sheets of wax paper in an air tight container.

One of the reasons we bake all those cookies is because we want to share our love with our family, and lets face it, home-baked cookies are one of the favorite ways to show them you care. But, today it is sometimes hard to find the time to bake. Here is a way to share the love of a home-baked cookie, without having to do the baking.

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