Every family has a favorite cookie recipe. Our favorite is Nani’s Pinwheels. My grandmother always had a cookie jar full of these cookies and the smell of them is the smell of love!
In the past I adapted this recipe for Hanukkah with my Dizzy Dreidel recipe. I did a Thanksgiving version with these Grateful Heart cookies. This year I’m paying homage to some naughty elves who like to make a mess of the kitchen with their overabundance of sprinkles. The cookies are dedicated to the residents of Whoville. They are also for Will Ferrell, who never fails to make me laugh. And for you. It’s 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.
Classic Pinwheel Cookie Recipe
1 c sugar
2 egg yolks
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
3 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
about 6 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla
In a bowl with handmixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar & egg yolks. Add flour and baking powder alternately with milk. Add vanilla.
Knead dough lightly by hand and divide into two balls. Put half back in the mixing bowl and add the chocolate to that half of the dough, integrating well. Divide both balls in half, so you have two chocolate and two vanilla.
Take one vanilla and one chocolate ball. Spread out waxed paper on counter, about 17 inches long. Put vanilla dough on bottom, chocolate dough on top 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, taking care not to roll in the wax paper!
Coating the 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 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 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.
Too lazy to make cookie dough and want to use up your holiday sprinkles? This works like magic with store bought logs as well…
Wrap wax paper around the 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.
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.
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.