Day 5: Gingerbread Pinwheels

5:00 AM

Be sure to check back for the rest of the recipes from this year's 12 Days of Cookies!


Some of you may remember this post, and how much I love gingerbread.  It has to be one of my favorite flavors/smells this time of year, and is something of an obsession of mine.  As I was going through a bunch of old "to-try-later" recipes recently, I came across this one and absolutely had to make it.

These cookies are so good!  Possibly one of my favorite gingerbread recipes!  They're nice and soft and "gingerbread-y."  The swirl of light and dark dough makes them look far more complicated than they are.  After rolling all of the dough, it's basically just a "slice and bake" kind of cookie.  See?  Simple!

Gingerbread Pinwheels

Gingerbread Dough:

  • 3/4 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. dark molasses
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and molasses until smooth.  Beat in egg yolks.

In another bowl, sift together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt.  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, until well blended.

Form dough into a disk and wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm but pliable - about 1 hour.

Plain Dough:

  • 1 c. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in egg and vanilla.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture until well blended.

Form dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap.  Chill until firm but pliable, about 1 hour.

To make Pinwheels:

On a lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, roll out gingerbread dough into roughly a 12-15 inch rectangle.  Slide dough and waxed paper onto the underside of a large baking sheet.

Repeat to roll out the plain dough.  Carefully invert the gingerbread dough over the plain dough, lining up the edges as evenly as possible.  Gently press together.  (*Note: if dough is starting to become sticky or too soft, chill until it firms up a bit.)

With a sharp knife or a dough scraper, cut the rectangle in half crosswise to make two smaller rectangles.  Starting at the long end of one rectangle, roll doughs into a tight, even cylinder.  If the dough starts to crack while rolling, allow to stand a few more minutes to soften slightly.

Repeat to roll other rectangle. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

Unwrap rolls and slice crosswise into 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Lay cookies flat on a parchment lined baking sheet. Each roll should make 24 cookies.

Bake cookies until the edges just begin to brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.  Makes 4 dozen.

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