Sunday, December 4, 2011

COOKIE CHRONICLES - Specialty Cookies - Sugar Peppermint Pinwheels and Cut Outs

Randi and Jack
So how are your holiday preparations going?
Between the decorating, shopping, baking and so on it's amazing any of us survive!  But we do.  And our loved ones are grateful for all the effort.

It's important that everyone gets involved though, so don't take it all on by yourself.  Make a party of preparation and you'll be amazed at how much help is available!

Trimming the tree is an obvious reason for a party, why not decking the halls, too?  That's an opportunity for some kinda fun.  For that matter, make it happen all at once if you can.  Keep in mind that others may not want things the way you do, so be mindful of your tolerance level and just what kind of "help" you want!

We've been concentrating on baking in our household because baked goods are our gifts to folks. This requires a lot of work, so the decorations will happen a little later in the month.  Heck! I know some folks who don't get the tree done 'til right before Christmas Eve.  For now I'm decking the kitchen with coats of flour!

Today's cookies are Sugar Cookie based, but then I took a left turn somewhere and went Peppermint Pinwheel.
And since there was some dough left over that was mixed up, I made some Peppermint Cut-Outs, too.


Add butter mix to flour mix
1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
4 cups flour (more or less)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (more if you like it real minty)
3 Tablespoons flour
10 drops red food coloring

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Cream butter, add sugar and vanilla and beat.  Add eggs one at a time, mix until blended.  Cut dough in half.   Take one section of the dough and wrap it in waxed paper.
Take the remaining dough section, add peppermint extract, food coloring and flour.  Mix until thoroughly blended.  Some folk like mixing with their hands at this stage.  Suggestion: wear gloves if you don't want your hands to turn red!  Of course if they do, at least they'll be minty-fresh!
Wrap in waxed paper. Put both wrapped dough sections in refrigerator for at least one hour.

Prepare surface for rolling dough.  I use an old 1/4 or 1/2 sheet cake pan with waxed paper taped to it.  Sure makes clean-up easy!  Start with either section, but roll it out flat, then add the second layer to it.

Rather than overworking the dough, do this process in small sections, cutting bits off each to make the layers.  I began with the vanilla layer first for this photo.  Kinda looks like pizza, eh?

3 layers rolled
Make sure when you're rolling layers on to one another that you don't mix them together.  You want them to maintain their individuality, as much as possible.  As you can see from the photo, there's sometimes a bit of "bleed through."

Next, roll this dough pizza up like a jelly roll, cut off the rough edges and lookie there!  How pretty!
A real live pinwheel pattern!  Roll up your roll in some waxed paper.  Do the same 'til you've used all the dough.  You'll have some crumbs and cast-offs of mixed up dough....don't throw it away!  We'll use it in the next recipe!

Place your "pinwheel logs" in the fridge for another hour's nap.
Then, Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each log into thin slices and place them on ungreased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 8 to 12 minutes or until bottom is just done. The baking time depends on the slice thickness.  Thinner slices take less time, so you'll have to do a bit of trial and error.

Let the cookies it on the sheet for one minute then put cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.

Sugar Peppermint Pinwheel

Sugar Peppermint Cut-Outs
Take all of your scraps from the Pinwheels recipe and sort of smoosh them together.  Don't worry about blending anything...the "marbling" will be an interesting affect.

Roll it out and give your cookie cutters a go at it!  Fun! Fun! Fun!  Decorate as you like....sprinkles, sugars, whatever! Peppermint cut-outs!
They go into a 400 degree oven for about 6 minutes.  Let them sit for one minute on the cookie sheet then set them to dry on racks to cool completely.

As always, thanks for your interest in this blog.  Please feel free to share your thoughts, memories, ideas, opinions and even recipes!  I'd love to try some of your favorites!

More cookie madness tomorrow!
For now, Enjoy!

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