These “Tipsy Elf” Christmas Pinwheel Cookies are possibly the most fun incarnation of my grandmother’s classic icebox cookie recipe. Serve them with a nip of spiked eggnog.
Every family has a favorite cookie recipe. Our favorite is Nani’s Pinwheels. My grandmother always had a cookie jar full of these cookies. The smell of them is the smell of love!
Christmas Pinwheel Cookies are Coming to Town!
This time I’m paying cookie homage to some naughty elves. I’m celebrating the imps who like to make a mess of the kitchen with their overabundance of sprinkles. These cookies are also dedicated to the residents of Whoville. They are for Will Ferrell too, because he never fails to make me laugh.
And these cookies are for you. You got a lot on your plate. Perfection is overrated. This is a perfect way to use up all the leftover sprinkles from assorted cookies you make this season. Toss them all in!
I’ve just made a big batch. I’m only handing them out to the nice people.
Start with the basic recipe for legendary Pinwheel Cookies, as told by my grandmother. Adapt for this recipe as described below…
Holiday Slice and Bake Cookie Recipe
- 8oz butter
- 1 c sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 3 c flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- about 6 TBSP milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- waxed paper
- A ton of random sprinkles. Don’t overthink it. Use up your leftovers. The more colors and shapes the better.
In a bowl with a hand-mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar & egg yolks. Beat till creamy. Add flour and baking powder alternately with milk. Add vanilla last of all.
Knead dough lightly by hand and divide into two balls. Put half back of your dough back into the mixing bowl and add the chocolate to that half of the dough. Mix well to fully integrate.
Rolling Up The Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
Divide both dough balls in half, so you have two chocolate balls and two vanilla balls. This is going to net you two slice and bake cookie logs.
Spread out your waxed paper on counter, about 17 inches long. Put vanilla dough on bottom, chocolate dough on top of it on the waxed paper. Smash down gently and carefully roll out the two evenly to about 9—13 inches long (leaving extra wax paper on all edges).
Roll the dough up again, into a 13 inch long log. Take care not to roll in the wax paper!
Coating the Pinwheel Cookies with Sprinkles
Now the fun holiday cookie part…
Coat the log in sprinkles. I like to toss the sprinkles in a long bread loaf pan.
Place the log in and toss gently to coat/embed. First I go up and down gently, rotating the log in the pan as I go. Then side to side, neatening up the log. You want to do this when the dough is slightly soft. After it is chilled, the sprinkles have a hard time sticking. I took some pictures so you can see what I mean.
You could also just roll them on a plate with sprinkles but I find this method really makes them stick and shapes up the rolls nicely at the same time.
Shhh Tip: Too lazy to make cookie dough and want to use up your holiday sprinkles? This works like magic with store bought logs as well…
Time to Chill… Your Icebox Cookies Need to North Pole for a Bit
Wrap a fresh sheet of waxed paper around the cookie dough log. Carefully twist the ends of the wax paper to secure. Repeat this process for the other two balls to make a second log. Chill at least an hour or overnight.
Note: If you are attending a cookie making/decorating party, consider bringing along an unbaked roll. Wrap in decorative waxed paper and tie with decorative ribbon.
Remove from the oven and slice into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. These cookies need to come out of the oven just before they start to brown so keep an eye on them.
The Ends of the Log Are The Ugly Christmas Cookies and Possibly the BEST PART.
We always used to fight over the messed up cookies from the end of the roll. We called them the butt. I have a soft spot for the cookies that came from the end of these rolls too. I’m calling them Ugly Christmas Cookies. Best eaten while wearing an ugly Christmas sweater.