Chocolate pinwheel cookies are as soft and delicious as they are fun and easy to make.
This Chocolate pinwheel cookies recipe originated from many different recipes that I combined into one. I’m sure you’re going to love this recipe as much as I do!
Bring Back the Childhood Memories
My absolute most favorite cookies ever are my aunt’s pinwheel cookies. They are the perfect combination of delicious, fun to make, and different from the conventional chocolate chip cookies. And for me, they are full of wonderful childhood memories.
Pinwheel Cookie Variations
I always like mine as chocolate and vanilla swirls, just the way my aunt taught them to me. But you can use this dough rolling technique to make any combination of colors or flavors!
For me, Chocolate and vanilla, rolled into one. A little soft in the middle and a little crispy from the outside, is just divine. Looks pretty, tastes yummy. A lifetime of memories rolled up into perfect chocolate pinwheel cookies.
How To Make Pinwheel Cookies
Pinwheel cookies are one of those recipes that seems difficult to make than it really is. In fact, these are pretty simple and fun. The dough is mixed together either in a mixer or by hand, like any standard cookie dough. Once it comes together, split the dough in half and add cocoa powder to one half. Then refrigerate both doughs separately tightly wrapped in a plastic wrap.
The key to defined pinwheel swirls is working with a cold dough. We’ll chill three times in this recipe:
- Chill the dough after mixing together. Form into rectangles, wrap in plastic wrap, and let it chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Chill the dough again after rolling up into a pinwheel. This helps the dough keep its round shape. (Don’t forget to roll it a few times to ensure the bottom doesn’t flatten!)
- Freeze the dough before slicing. This ensures the dough will slice well without squishing.
Since there’s so much chilling involved, these are perfect cookies to make over several days or weeks or even months! (See the notes below for the long life option)
How To Roll Pinwheel Cookies
In my opinion, the process of rolling up the pinwheel cookies can be a little terrifying for some people but in reality; it’s easy! And here’s some step-by-step picture instructions, because a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
- Roll out the chocolate and vanilla dough separately, into a rectangular shape roughly the same size. Stack the dough on top of each other (it does not matter which flavor is on top).
- Use a knife to cut the dough into a rectangle, roughly 6 inches by 7 inches.
- Lift the long edge of the dough up from the counter using a bench scraper or spatula.
- Start to roll the dough away from you, carefully rolling both sides of the dough.
- Roll the whole way and press the edge down to seal.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator.
Chocolate Pin Wheel Cookies
Prep time: 15 min.
Chilling time: 2 hours
Bake time: 10 min./batch
Yield: 6 dozen
- 1 cup or 2 sticks softened butter
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
- Divide the dough in half; add cocoa to one portion. Divide each portion into further halves. Form into rectangles, wrap in plastic wrap, and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out one strip of vanilla dough between two sheets of parchment paper, into a roughly 6-by-7 inch rectangle. Repeat with a strip of the chocolate dough.
- Peel off the top sheet of parchment paper from each dough and flip the vanilla dough over onto the chocolate dough. Trim excess dough into a rectangle and run a rolling pin lightly over the dough to ensure they stick together.
- Peel off the top sheet of parchment paper, then roll the dough into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Repeat with remaining strips of dough to form 4 logs. Chill the dough again after rolling up into a pinwheel. This helps the dough keep its round shape, don’t forget to roll it a few times to ensure the bottom doesn’t flatten!
- Freeze the dough for at least an hour before slicing. This ensures the dough will slice well without squishing.
- Unwrap and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
- Place two inch apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Shelf Life: These cookies can last in an airtight container for up to a week.
Long Life: The final rolled dough can even be frozen for months and can be sliced and baked as and when required.
Variations: For flavor variation, follow the same recipe for vanilla dough and then add any food color and essence that you may wish to make. For e.g. use orange color and orange essence or pink color and strawberry essence.
If you don’t have the essence, then you can put a thin layer of jam between the two layers.