24 December 2013

Pinwheel Cookies

Oh, it's been a while. So much has happened and much delicious food and little alcohol (huzzah! I can legally drink now!) has passed through my digestive system. And now starts the frantic trying-to-stuff-as-many-posts-into-2013-as-possible. Today, I will talk about making pinwheel cookies. Below are 93 cookies.

I made nutella + jam + dried fruit pinwheel cookies in 2007 or 2008 and they turned out pretty hard and sweet. I guess they were acceptable. I don't recall how I rolled the cookies though, since I don't recall it being a tedious task. Last night, however, rolling the cookie logs took way more time and gnawing away at confidence than I anticipated.

I made a double batch of this typical sugar cookie recipe, which yielded about 100, or 8 dozen cookies and end bits that the little ragamuffin (my sister) nibbled up raw. I left them in the fridge overnight and baked them this afternoon.

Ingredient Changes:

-- 2 cups of sugar instead of 2.66 cups
-- 2 handfuls of melted chocolate chips in half the dough, yielding a light tea+milk type of brown rather than a dark brown.

Regarding the Method:
I don't have parchment paper. I reused an opened-up cereal bag, which worked pretty well as a cookie log wrapper. Unfortunately, the dough was really soft so it was hard to move around. Flouring the surface really helped.

The first method included rolling out both doughs and then folding one on top of the other, and peeling the plastic back. This sort of worked but was really tedious.

I also tried just squashing chocolate dough onto the rolled-out vanilla dough but that was also tedious. Most of the logs (I ended up with three 30-cm-ish logs, each yielding >30 cookies) were just really squishy due to it being a balmy room temperature. Most were done using the roll-two-blobs-and-smoosh-together method. Even though the doughs were not rolled into perfect rectangles, with some trimming and squishing around, I ended up with dismal looking logs, that, the next day, magically sliced into artistic pinwheels. I put two of the logs in a plastic bread bag and kept the other one rolled up in the cereal bag in the fridge.

Next time, I will probably chill the dough for an hour rather than for 20 minutes. A lot of the rolling was done by eye, and my cookie sizes ranged from Oreo-sized to Navel orange-sized.

How surprising! They actually look beautiful!!
The cookies were sliced at about 7 mm ? and baked on the middle rack of a 350 F oven for exactly 10 minutes. It turns out that the bottom rack is no place for a cookie-to-be, and a aluminum foil pan yields a longer cooking time for the cookie. So, I stuck with the cookie sheet I got for my 15th birthday that is still intact and loved.

Perfectly cooked and no burned edges!

The spots on the cookies are chocolate chips that did not melt completely.

The cold logs are only sliced immediately before placing onto the pan and baking. Although I buttered the pan with a butter wrapper for the first batch, subsequent batches did not require any pan-buttering. The trick is to swivel the cookies off the sheet as soon as the sheet is taken out of the oven. At this point, they don't stick to the pan. This means very hot fingertips and quick scooping of cookies onto a spatula, and then the cooling rack (or directly on, if you like hot fingertips).

The cookies do expand a bit during cooking and unfortunately I had to squish some cookies together because I didn't want to bake a batch of only 3-5 cookies.

Look at this stack of equal-diameter cookies!

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