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
- 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. 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.
- 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.
Originally published as Pinwheels and Checkerboards in Taste of Home December/January 2004, p27
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