How To Make Pinwheel Sugar Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
- 2 1/4 cups
(10 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon
- 8 ounces
unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup
(7 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon
- 4 ounces
bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (see note below)
- 3 tablespoons
unsweetened natural cocoa powder
large egg yolk
Measuring cups and spoons
Stand mixer with paddle attachment
Knife or pizza cutter
Offset spatula or butter knife
Whisk the flour and salt together: Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar: Place the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla: Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the whole egg and vanilla, return the mixer to medium speed, and beat until well-combined, about 1 minute.
Add the flour mixture: Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add the flour mixture, turn the mixer to low speed, and mix until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Divide the dough: Remove the bowl from the mixer and give the cookie batter a few stirs by hand, scraping the bottom of the bowl, to ensure that all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Place half of the dough on a piece of parchment paper; set aside.
Flavor half the dough: Fit the bowl with the remaining dough back onto the mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and egg yolk and mix until just incorporated, about 2 minutes.
Roll out the doughs and chill: Place the chocolate dough on a piece of parchment. Cover with a second piece of parchment and roll the dough into a 12x6-inch rectangle that's about 1/4-inch thick. Keeping the dough sandwiched in the parchment, transfer it to a baking sheet and refrigerate. Cover the reserved vanilla dough with parchment and repeat rolling it out into a second rectangle. Stack this dough on top of the chocolate dough in the refrigerator. Refrigerate until cool but pliable enough to roll, 25 to 30 minutes.
Divide the dough again: Remove both doughs from the refrigerator and remove the top piece of parchment from each. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut each dough in half crosswise to create 4 (6x6-inch) squares of dough total. You should have 4 squares of dough: 2 chocolate and 2 vanilla. Stack a square of vanilla and a square of chocolate dough together, lining them up as precisely as possible. Keep in mind that whichever dough is on the bottom of the stack will be the outside of the pinwheel. Roll the stacked square into a 6x8-inch rectangle.
Make pinwheel logs and chill: Starting from a long end, roll the rectangle of dough tightly up into a log. The first roll might feel awkward, but you can use an offset spatula or butter knife to tuck the edge under and create a tight seal. Use one hand to guide the dough into a roll while pulling up with the parchment paper underneath to create a tight roll. Wrap the pinwheel log in parchment paper. Repeat stacking and rolling the remaining 2 squares of dough to make a second pinwheel log. Refrigerate both logs for 1 hour.
Heat the oven and line baking sheets: Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
Cut the dough logs: Remove 1 pinwheel dough log from the refrigerator, unwrap, and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Turn the log a quarter turn every three or four cuts to prevent a flat side. Place 12 rounds on each baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch apart.
Bake the cookies: Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake until the cookies are just set in the center (they will not brown), 5 to 6 minutes more. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Let the baking sheets cool (you can use the same parchment), then repeat with cutting and baking the remaining dough log.
- Melting the chocolate: Finely chop the chocolate and microwave for 1 minute. Some pieces of chocolate might not be completely melted. Give the chocolate a stir to melt the remaining pieces, then set aside.
- Storage: The baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Freezing the dough: Wrap the parchment-wrapped logs of cookie dough in plastic wrap and freeze until solid, about 3 hours. Be sure to label and date the cookies with their baking temperature and time.
- Baking from frozen: Remove the cookie logs from the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing and baking.