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Pinwheels and Checkerboards

 Pinwheels and Checkerboards
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
60 ServingsPrep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min.


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove waxed paper. Place one green rectangle over a red rectangle.

2 of 2

Pinwheels and Checkerboards (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; wrap in
  • plastic wrap. Repeat. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.