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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
120 ServingsPrep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch


  • 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Pure 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. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder,
  • salt and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  • Divide dough into four portions. Tint one portion red and one portion
  • green. Stir chocolate into another portion. Wrap chocolate and plain
  • portions in plastic wrap; refrigerate 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 9x6-in. rectangle.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes.

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Pinwheels and Checkerboards (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • 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. Refrigerate 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. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375°. Unwrap and cut pinwheel and checkerboard
  • dough into 1/4-in. slices. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking
  • sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to
  • cool. Yield: 6 dozen pinwheel and 4 dozen checkerboard cookies.