Red and White Vanilla Pinwheels

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Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.

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Although they resemble candy canes, these crisp, two-toned butter cookies are purely vanilla on vanilla. They're a fun and tasty way to add color to your cookie swap or homemade gifts for the holidays.

Red and White Vanilla Pinwheels

star rating (4) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.
Published: 09/16/2013

Ingredients

Whitedough

Red dough

Glaze

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

Tips from our bakers

  • If the log is too hard to slice when it comes out of the freezer, let it thaw and soften for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • If the log becomes too soft to handle and slice while you're working with it, let it firm up in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Directions

1) To make the white dough: Beat together the sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla.

2) Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a rectangle that's about 5" x 7", wrap the pieces in plastic, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

3) To make the red dough: Beat together the sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, and color.

4) Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a rectangle that's about 5" x 7", wrap the pieces in plastic, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

5) To make the glaze: Whisk together the egg white and water until slightly foamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

6) To shape the cookies: Place parchment or waxed paper on your work surface and dust it lightly with flour.

7) Lay one square of white dough on the parchment and roll it into a 12" x 6" rectangle. Brush with the glaze, and set it aside.

8) Using another piece of parchment or waxed paper, roll one square of red dough slightly smaller than the first; it should be about 11 1/2" x 5 1/2".

9) Place the smaller piece of red dough on top of the larger piece of white dough, using the parchment to transport.

10) Starting with a long edge, use the parchment to help you gently roll the stacked dough into a tight log, with no gaps.

11) Press the edge to seal, then wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment, and freeze for at least 1 hour.

12) Repeat with the second red and white pieces of dough.

13) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

14) Remove the log from the freezer, unwrap it, and place it on a clean work surface.

15) Use a sharp knife to gently cut the log into 1/4" to 3/8" slices. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets.

16) Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they feel firm. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

17) When cool, store airtight at room temperature for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.

Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 12/21/2014
  • Catherine from IL
  • Very festive cookies. Taste like a shortbread. Dough can be a little tricky to work with. I amped them up a bit by doubling the glaze recipe, then brushed glaze on the exterior of the rolls and coated with red sanding sugar, before freezing the rolls in parchment. I would recommend cutting these on the thinner side. Also, might be a good idea to let the cut slices warm to room temp for 10 minutes on cookie sheet before popping in oven, to prevent spreading. I like the idea of trying different flavors like peppermint! Merry Christmas.
  • star rating 12/21/2013
  • Sher from Arlington, VA
  • As written, the cookies are pretty but have a very mild taste. It's a lot of work for cookies that aren't very tasty. Made them again, subbing 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract for the 2 tsp vanilla in ONLY the red stripe dough; also put some white decorating sugar on cookies. Improved the taste a bit, in my opinion. Also, I don't think there's any need to roll the dough out before refrigeration; I ended up having to ball the dough back up and re-rolling it to the required measurement. Definitely freeze the dough logs for an hour at least, though.
  • star rating 12/08/2013
  • Dana from Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Very pretty cookies! If I made them again, I'd add a tablespoon of extra flour to the red dough to compensate for the liquid in the gel food coloring to make it easier to handle.
  • star rating 10/06/2013
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