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Pinwheels and Checkerboards Recipe
Pinwheels and Checkerboards Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Pinwheels and Checkerboards Recipe

Publisher Photo
My mom used to make these cookies every Christmas, and I still love them. They are so colorful...and you can get two kinds of cookies from one dough! They're perfect for including in gift boxes.—Jill Heatwole, Pittsville, Maryland
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min.
MAKES:60 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min.
MAKES: 60 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Red and green gel food coloring
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Divide dough into fourths. Tint one portion red and one portion green. Stir chocolate into another portion. Wrap chocolate and plain portions in plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  3. For pinwheel cookies, divide red and green portions in half. Roll out each portion between waxed paper into a 9-in. x 6-in. rectangle. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove waxed paper. Place one green rectangle over a red rectangle. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.
  5. For checkerboard cookies, divide plain and chocolate portions in half. Roll out each portion between waxed paper into a 6-in. x 4-in. rectangle. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into eight 1/2-in. strips.
  6. Stack the strips in groups of four, alternating plain and chocolate strips and forming eight separate stacks. Form a four-stack block by alternating chocolate-topped and plain-topped stacks. Repeat. Press together gently. Wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  7. Unwrap and cut pinwheel and checkerboard dough into 1/4-in. slices. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 9-11 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 6 dozen pinwheel and 4 dozen checkerboard cookies.
Originally published as Pinwheels and Checkerboards in Taste of Home December/January 2004, p27

Reviews for Pinwheels and Checkerboards

AVERAGE RATING
   (10)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (6)
4 Star
 (4)
3 Star
 (0)
2 Star
 (0)
1 Star
 (0)
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MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2013

i made these cookies several years ago. They are a special cookie to make at Christmas. just to comment on a few post i read. I liked the one about adding flavoring, since this is basically just a sugar cookie, and this is a time consuming recipe, especially the checkerboard one, but if you take your time, cut out the exact strips and line it all out right, they turn out really pretty. I got satisfaction in making these cookies. May try again this year. i had this copy of the magazine and lost it. it had a great homemade coconut creme pie recipe as well in it that i made at christmastime

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Jul. 14, 2013

We loved the way these turned out! They are so beautiful! I did use cake decorating color instead of the gel food coloring and they did fine. I didn't rate it 5 stars because we had a hard time with them. Difficulty level is pretty high to me. And the checkerboards were near impossible. All in all, we will make the pinwheels again, and perfect them :)

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2012

I have made these every year since first seeing the recipe. They are fun to make, look beautiful, and taste good, too!

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2011

I've been making these for years. They are very time consuming, but worth doing just once a year (or twice... I did do a red, white and blue checkerboard version for the 4th).

I think they taste great, too. I flavor some of the dough with almond extract and that way have 3 different tastes from one dough.

I make one roll of the pinwheels with the green on the outside to get another look.

MY REVIEW
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2010

Looks-wise, these are hard to beat. Just handed out 16 homemade Christmas baking trays tonight which were highly acclaimed and included these colourful goodies. They look fantastic. Tastewise they are nothing to write home about--just typical.

Looks wise they get 5 stars, taste 3 stars.

VERY time consuming. Excellent instructions made them fail-proof, but rolling out 8 balls of dough to such a specific size was monotonous, so I wouldn't make these again soon. But yes, they look FAB.

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