Friday, December 23, 2011

Peppermint Crunch Pinwheel Cookies

These cookies were inspired by my friend ADH.  When we were in law school together, every Christmas I would make mint chocolate chip cookies.  I would buy the white chocolate peppermint morsels with the bottoms dipped in Christmas colored sprinkles.  Now that I am on the East Coast, those morsels are harder to find.  (I did find some on Sunday, two days after I finished baking these.)

When I saw the Andes Peppermint Crunch Pieces, I thought they would be a festive substitute.  The idea for making the cookie into a pinwheel log came to me randomly while at work.  I sometimes have strokes of baking genius firing off in my head at work.  Ideas hit me like lightening, for no reason and without prompting; they just shock me.  That is what happened here.

So, I hope ADH likes (or liked) these cookies inspired by her love of mint, minus the chocolate, admittedly because I did not want to cover up the pretty design and after tasting them, I decided they did not need the chocolate.

Peppermint Crunch Pinwheel Cookies
Adapted very loosely from Two Peas and Their Pod

3 cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Egg (or Replacer)
1 TBS Vanilla Extract (emulsion or paste)
3/4 Bag Andes Peppermint Crunch Pieces
Red Gel Food Paste

Day One
1. Cream together butter and sugars.
2. Add eggs or replacer and vanilla.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir into butter mixture.
4. Take out about 1/3 of the dough and set aside.
5. Stir in Andes Peppermint pieces into remaining 2/3 dough.
6. In the 1/3 of dough, mix in the red food color.
7. Between parchment paper roll out the red dough until very thin (1/8 in) and in a large rectangle.
8. Between parchment roll out the Andes dough (1/4 to 3/8 inch thick) into a rectangle slightly smaller than the red dough.
9. Place the Andes square of dough on top of the red dough.  Press the two doughs together by quickly running the rolling pin over it a few times.
10. Starting at the long end, fold the red dough over the end of the Andes dough.  From the fold, continue to roll the dough into a log.  Rub/pinch the dough seam together.
11. Wrap the log in parchment paper, followed by saran wrap, and place in the fridge over night to chill.

Day Two
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Take roll out of the fridge.  Slice off both ends and discharge, set aside, or bake as taste-testers.
3. Slice the dough log into pieces and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet to bake.  The cookies will spread so give them room.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes (depending on the thickness of the slices), until the cookies no longer look doughy in the center of the pinwheel and the bottoms are browning.

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