These showy little cookies are actually pretty easy to make. Even better, the dough can be frozen in rolls for a quick and easy treat. Christmas baking is coming up and having this dough in the freezer will make for some quick additions to cookie and candy plates for friends and neighbors. These cookies are not too sweet and turn out fairly thin and crisp. My 14 year old son says to be sure and mention how good they are dipped in milk! Yummy!
The original recipe is from an old Betty Crocker Cookbook. The basic recipe is chocolate, but to make pinwheels or other contrasting creations, you'll mix up the batch without the cocoa first, take out half, and then add the cocoa to the second half. Honestly, I find it easiest to just make 2 batches. One chocolate and one vanilla.
Refrigerator Pinwheel Cookies
1 3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/4 C. margarine or butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
1/4 C. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
Mix powdered sugar, margarine and egg and vanilla. Mix in flour and salt. Divide dough in half. Add cocoa to one half of the dough. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour but no longer than 6 weeks. (I guess you can just keep slicing cookies off of it until it's gone - I can't imagine it lasting that long, baked or not.)
Roll vanilla dough into a 16x9 inch rectangle on a floured surface. Roll chocolate dough the same size and gently set on top of vanilla dough. (If it tears a bit, just pat it back together) Roll up carefully beginning at wide side. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. When you're ready to bake, slice in thin slices, maybe a little thicker than 1/8 inch, place on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet immediately.
Joy's Notes: I find a good serrated knife to be useful cutting the thin slices. If dough has been frozen, let it thaw about 15-20 minutes on the counter before slicing, and use a gentle sawing motion to avoid squishing your roll. Be creative with your cookies! You can make just chocolate or just vanilla... dip 1/3 of each cookie in melted chocolate... try rolling one flavor out into a rectangle and then make a roll with the other flavor, roll that up in the rectangle. I've seen checkerboard design as well but haven't tried fiddling with that yet. :) So many cookies, so little time. LOL You CAN bake this right away rather than freezing or refrigerating, my dough has always been firm enough to slice right after rolling up.