Monday, September 23, 2019

Cherry Pinwheel Cookies

These Cherry Pinwheel Cookies are given a hint of tang from cream cheese and lemon juice while super concentrated cherry flavour brings a hit of fruit to the pink swirl! It will be a hit in any lunchbox or snack table!

Sigh - where did the Summer go? It seems so crazy that September is almost over, we're almost a whole month into school and the Thanksgiving sales are on. That said, since school is back in session (even for me!), a sweet pick me up in the lunchbox is always appreciated. I came across the original recipe for these cookies on Simply Recipes and fell in love with their adaptability and relative simplicity.

Being me (and wanting to use up the random stuff in my pantry and fridge!) I tweaked the recipe to my tastes. I love a hint of tang in my sweets, and by adding lemon juice to the cherry stripe and using cream cheese for some of the butter I got the slight cheesecakey tartness I looked for. The cream cheese also helped these cookies keep their shape in the oven - no crazy spread like I always have with all butter cookies. To get a slight crisp on the outside, I used egg whites in the dough as well. Finally, I was tired of eyeing the bag of white whole wheat flour in my pantry (which I was using for brownies for my sister) and tossed it in for the all purpose.

The one thing I will say about these cookies is that they do take time - at minimum 24 hours - so you need to plan ahead. However, they also freeze beautifully and I can't wait to make a few more batches for Christmas giving! I can't imagine a prettier platter than one with a variety of colourful swirls... I'm thinking chocolate and orange perhaps, or a vanilla-mint, maybe even a coconut and rum? The possibilities are endless!

Cherry Pinwheel Cookies
Adapted from Simply Recipes 
Makes 32
1 1/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg whites
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 tsp pink gel food colouring
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 dram LorAnn Oils Cherry Flavour (note: this is super strong so if you use another type you may need more)
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, cream cheese, vanilla, baking powder, and salt until creamy and light coloured.
  2. Add the egg whites and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly add the flour and stir on low speed until combined.
  4. Divide the dough in half and set one half aside. To the other half add the tapioca starch, food colouring, lemon juice and cherry flavour and knead in until well mixed.
  5. Divide each half of the dough in half again to make two calls of each colour. Shape each into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic and chill 24 hours.
  6. Roll out the dough, one disc at a time, into a rectangle about 6x12" on waxed paper. Stack the waxed paper-lined dough slabs on a baking sheet and chill for 1 hour.
  7. When chilled, flip one slab of coloured dough on top of one "plain" slab, lining up the edges. 
  8. Roll out lightly to adhere the doughs and make the slab a bit longer
  9. Roll the combined slab up starting with the long edge. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil, and place in a halved paper towel tube (this helps keep it's shape) or just on a baking sheet.
  10. Repeat with remaining dough.
  11. Chill dough overnight or freeze up to 6 months.
  12. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the freezer while you heat the oven to 350ºF and line baking sheets with parchment or SilPat.. 
  13. Slice the dough into slices about 1/2" thick, rotating the logs to maintain the round shape, and place 1" apart on the cookie sheets.
  14. Bake for 13-14 minutes, until golden on the bottom. Store in an airtight container up to one week.

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