Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cranberry-ginger and orange pinwheels

These are the cookies that I made for the cookie swap I hosted this evening (it went smashingly). They turned out very well, but I'm not sure I'd make them again - I always find the rolling and cutting process pretty tedious!

1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. orange rind
2 eggs
1/4+ tsp. cinnamon
1/4+ tsp. nutmeg
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. cranberries
1 c. pecans
4 medallions of candied ginger, chopped finely
1/4 c. brown sugar

Cream together the butter and the sugar until it becomes very light in color (signifying that it has become aerated), about 5 minutes. Add the orange rind and eggs (one at a time please!), then the spices, baking powder and salt. Mix until very well combined. Blend in the flour a cup at a time - if you have a stand mixer, it will probably be able to handle this fine, but if you're using a hand mixer you may need to get in there with your hands to combine the last half cup or so. Divide the dough into two portions and put it in the fridge for at least an hour (we chilled ours overnight).

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling (hey, that rhymed!). If you have a food processor, just throw all the ingredients in there and process until it's all chopped up. If not, mix everything together in a bowl and use your blender to do it in two or three batches.

Roll out one half of the dough into a 1/4" thick rectangle (about 10"-12" on the long side) on top of a piece of parchment paper or a flexible cutting board. Spread half of the filling on the dough, leaving an inch of dough on each long side and one of the short sides. Then, using the parchment paper, roll up the dough starting at the spread short side. Pinch off the ends and roll the dough in a sheet of plastic wrap, then pop it back in the oven, this time for at least four hours (!)

Once the dough has chilled - it should be super firm at this point - use a sharp knife to slice into 1/4" cookies. You should try to rotate the roll after every few cuts so you don't smush it on one side. Bake 8-15 minutes (depending on thickness) at 375°F.

And just for fun, here's the rest of the spread, post-party:



veuveclicquot said...

Yum. I love pinwheel cookies, but like you, i find them a tad bit tedious to make, and for some reason, mine never 'cut' properly. I guess I'll just stare at your picture some more!! :)

Jackie said...

I've always had a hard time too - the "secret" is to keep the dough super cold and cut verrrry sloooowly. It adds to the tediousness, but at least they turn out pretty. :)

Caroline said...

Those look great!

Because the last thing I need is to make more cookies!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Darn it, I had written a comment for this recipe and Google decided to trick me. :S

I really like this cookie making process - it's easier then using cookie cutters, I guess...

I love recipes with orange and would certainly try this one, only changing the filling, since we don't find cranberries here in Brazil.