Cookie Calendar: Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

Just this morning I watched a rerun of Alton Brown making these cookies with a little help from old St. Nick, and considering that today is his special day (St. Nicholas', not Alton Brown's), what better than this to post today?

These cookies are delicious. The dough is rich and produces a cookie with a nice, soft interior. The candy canes provide a crunchy, minty hit as you chew.

They weren't too popular on the cookie tray the year I made them, though, and I think I know why: They were way too big. My cookies, much like the ones on the show, were half an inch thick and about three or four inches wide. I suggest rolling your dough so that you end up with a log with a much shorter diameter. Keep in mind, too, that they will puff a bit while baking.

Cookie Tip #5: For holiday cookie spreads, keep your wee cakes wee. Your guests will want to graze, so they can try several varieties without overstuffing their stomachs, and they'll get turned off by monster-sized, bake-sale-style cookies. Unless you want a lot of leftovers haunting you like the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, keep those babies bite-sized.

Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies
Source: Alton Brown

  • 1 batch Sugar Cookies, recipe follows

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

  • ½ cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies

Divide the dough in half and add chocolate and vanilla to 1 half and incorporate with hands. Add egg yolk, peppermint extract, and crushed candy to other half of dough and incorporate with hands. Cover both with plastic and chill for approximately 5 minutes. Roll out doughs separately to approximately 1/4-inch thickness. Place peppermint dough on top of chocolate and press together around the edges. Using waxed paper or flexible cutting board underneath, roll dough into log. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place cookies 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Sugar Cookie:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice, as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

Yield: approximately 3 dozen, 2 1/2-inch cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 to 9 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours

Download Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies into MacGourmet.

No comments: