Of all my cookie recipes, my grandmother’s Pinwheel Cookies are my favorite. I’ve used the same basic recipe and adapted it to make my Dizzy Dreidel Pinwheel cookies, and now I’m adding in a new Thanksgiving Pinwheel Cookies twist.
Grateful Heart Pinwheel Cookies.
My grandmother was a very patient and kind woman. She didn’t have much for most of her life. She lost her husband when she was quite young and took care of her invalid sister for most of her adult life. But I never heard her complain. Her cookie jar and her heart were always full.
It makes perfect sense to me to stick a heart in the middle of her pinwheel cookies. Even though I can’t eat them myself (I’m gluten free) just smelling these cookies makes my heart feel full.
My small taste tester enjoyed his cookies with a big mug of milk. Somewhere, I’m sure my grandmother was smiling.
My grandmother’s basic pinwheel cookie recipe is all you need to start with. Omit the chocolate.
Prep the dough:
Split the dough into three balls – two larger and one a little smaller. Wrap each ball separately. Set one plain larger ball in fridge to chill. Add orange food coloring and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice to the second larger ball of dough. Mix thoroughly & chill. Break a chunk of dough off the third smaller ball (about 1/4 of the ball) and mix green food coloring into this small bit of of dough. Set aside and chill. Color and flavoring the remaining dough with 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice and red food coloring. Chill.
Make the heart core:
Roll out the red dough and cut out hearts. Stack the hearts together. This will form the core of your sliced cookie. Wrap this core gently in waxed paper and return to the fridge to keep it firm.
Roll our your dough as you would for regular pinwheel cookies. You can smash the balls together and roll both at once or roll separately on wax paper, as I have done here. I sliced a straight edge to lay the core along and then rolled up like I usually do, following the same instructions and wrapping the roll in waxed paper, just like my grandmother used to. It’s important to return to the fridge for at least an hour as this dough needs to be good and cold for the best results while slicing and baking.
Stick on a Stem:
I rolled the green dough into little snakes, and then dunked it in sprinkles before tacking onto the top of each grateful heart cookie. It would make sense to preassemble these so you can quickly stick them on as you slice.
Slice and Bake:
Slicing the cookies is my favorite part. There’s always “big reveal” moment and it’s a thrill. They look a little like a social media icon don’t they?
I wasn’t entirely satisfied with this batch. I think I need to find a smaller heart cookie cutter to use for the core, so that there is a greater ratio of pinwheel to heart. But I still love how happy and full of heart they look. And of course they taste great. This recipe is no fail.
They smell fantastic while baking. Thankfully they get done in 8-10 minutes so you won’t have to wait long to taste them!