Baking Night: Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies


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Peppermint Pinwheel Christmas Cookies

My husband loves when I bake.  Not because the whole house fills with a delicious aroma and there are trays full of Martha-worthy treats at the end.  It’s because I always mess up on the first try, filling the house with a burnt aroma and ending up with trays of “quitters” that I can’t possibly take with me to wherever I wanted to go.  He loves the “mistakes”; no matter if they are singed or just ugly, he eats them!  The look on his face when I take out the mixer is priceless.

Despite the fact these cookies were one of the recipes my family made every year growing up, it still took me two tries to get it right. They are so worth it; like a delish sugar cookie with a peppermint kick.  Plus, they are really pretty on the cookie tray!  The second batch came out perfectly and my husband had to resort to sneaking the good ones off the tray behind my back because there were no “quitters” this time!  There are many variations on this recipe out there {some only have red and white coloring, etc.), but I’ve tweaked this one and it works best for me.  Here is the recipe, with some photos for the tricky parts:

NOTE: this recipe requires some time and effort, so I’d recommend making a double batch because there never seems like enough!  This recipe is for a single batch, so just double the ingredients to make sure you have enough cookies for all those grabby hands that will want them…


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (you can add a bit more if you really like peppermint)
  • red food coloring
  • green food coloring


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Make sure to do this really well– it should be as creamy as possible!  If not, your dough will be very crumbly when it’s time to roll it.  Beat in egg yolk, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract.
  2.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half; add red food coloring to one portion, and green to the other.
  3. On a flat surface, roll out each portion of dough between waxed paper into a rectangle.  Make sure it’s an even width throughout.  Remove waxed paper from the top of the green rectangle and both sides of the red. Place red rectangle over the green rectangle.
  4. Roll up like a jelly roll, starting with a long side. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or until firm.  {I often make this a few days ahead of time and pull it out when I want fresh cookies!}
  5. Unroll the waxed paper from the “log” and cut into slices (about 1/4 inch each).  Place about 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets {I use Baker’s Joy spray, or leftover butter wrappers to grease it!}  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes until they set up.  They won’t brown on top, so check and make sure they aren’t burning on the bottom!  Cool for a few minutes before placing on wire racks to finish cooling.
In the end, you have something like this:
YUM!  I’m trying so, so hard not to eat them all.  They were my favorite as a little kid, and I think they still rank right up there on top now.
If you like it, please pin it for later!
Peppermint Pinwheel Christmas Cookies

Linked this to the baking challenge at the CSI project!  Lots of seasonal goodies on there, so be sure to stop on over… 

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