Sunday, December 26, 2010

Colorful Swirl Cookies



Merry Christmas! Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and is relaxing after a wonderful holiday! I know I am!



If there is any holiday I truly love, it is Christmas. I love the snow, wrapping, baking, and all the decorations. There is a joy that can be felt in the air. Baking for the holidays has always been a favorite Christmas activity. My family has some holiday traditions such as the Feast of Seven Fishes, and My Grandma's Cookies that are must haves. But I like to try something new each holiday just for fun. And this year it was homemade caramels and these swirly sugar cookies.



These are sweet sugar cookies which are surprisingly easy since they are a slice and bake cookie. Yes, aside from making the dough and rolling it together, this is just as easy as going to Shoprite for some Pilsbury's sugar cookie dough, but it's so much better! These Christmas cookies were simple to make and eat!


2 cups flour, plus possibly a few more tbsp (the original recipe called for cake flour, but I just used regular old all-purpose flour since I was all out of a softasilk)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (cut in chunks)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp of food coloring of your choice(and/or 1/2 tsp of any desired extra extracts)
1 1/2 cup holiday sprinkles



1. In a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars with paddle on medium until well blended.

2. Add butter in, gradually, and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract. At this point, your dough will form a ball on your paddle.

3. Remove all your dough and divide into two equal parts. Return one portion back in to the mixer and add the food coloring and any extra extracts. I used Wilton gel food coloring in leaf green and vanilla extract for this batch. You could coordinate your colors and flavors, for example green food coloring matched with a mint extract or yellow with a lemon extract, etc. Also, if you are using liquid food coloring, you will need to add a few tbsp of flour to keep the dough from becoming too wet. Mix until the color is spread out evenly.

4. Roll out each portions of your dough, between two sheets a wax paper until is reaches about 11 x 9 inches and is 1/4 inch thick. Slide both unto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

5. When firm, remove the top sheets of wax paper from both. Brush the uncolored vanilla dough lightly with water using a pastry brush. Then flip the colored dough onto the vanilla uncolored dough so they are stacked atop each other and even. Press the edges lightly with your fingertips to seal them together. Using a small pairing knife, trim the edges of the dough to make straight, even lines.

6. Pour out sprinkles onto a large platter and set aside. Be sure your dough is still cold, but flexible. Once it's ready, begin rolling the long side of dough into a swirl, jelly-roll style. Now, don't get nervous if the outer layer of uncolored dough tears a bit. It's no problem, just pinch and pat those tears and voila, then just keep rolling.


7. Now gently lift your dough log onto the sprinkles and roll away. Cover the log completely with your sprinkles. Wrap the colorfully decorated log in plastic wrap twice. Depending on when you want to bake the cookies, either place the wrapped dough into refrigerator for about 3-4 hours or you can put it the freezer and keep it there for up to 2 months. (If freezing, give yourself time for the dough to defrost in the fridge overnight before cutting.)


8. Slice your dough into 1/4-1/8 inch slices and bake on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move them to a cookie rack to finish cooling. Enjoy your whimsical Christmas cookies!




This is my entry for the December's What's Baking Challenge: A Holiday/Christmas Colored Baked Good. It has the colors of Christmas and is simple enough to make despite the busy holday season!

Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.


76 comments:

  1. these look absolutely amazing!!!

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  2. its s pity i hadnt seen this earlier as christmas has passed...but regardless, im making these!
    did u say its not christmas season anymore? i think not. its christmas baking season when i say it is.

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  3. Wow! those are so cool! I will make this next year!!

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  4. love it! these twist cookies are so fun to make and yours are so colorful.

    Beth
    whennutmegmetbasil.wordpress.com

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  5. oo how did i not see these sooner?! i need to try this, really pretty!

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  6. Thanks everyone! These cookies really were so fun to make and took so little time!

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  7. You can make them for all holidays! I just made some purple and orange for Halloween!

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  8. I am doing a series on my blog for the month of November called 30 days of desserts. I came across your blog and would love to feature one of your recipes! You can choose the recipe and I will post it on my blog with links back to your blog. If you have a button, etsy page or fb fan page I can link it up too! Just email me and let me know if you would like to be featured!

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  9. So cute! Just found your blog via pinterest and I LOVE these cookies! These will definitely get put onto my Christmas list.

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  10. Found your blog via Pinterest, and making these cookies for a Cookie Swap around Christmas! Love it!

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  11. How many does this recipe make??? Thanks!

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  12. Is a stand up mixer a necessity, or can I use a hand mixer somehow? I'm dying to make these for a cookie swap!

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  13. I can't wait to try these. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. I just found these cookies via pinterest and I'm totally making them for Christmas this year! Thanks :)

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  15. I found these kindof hard to make :( I think they are beutiful though and want to know if perhaps I did something wrong. I followed all instructions.When the cookies came out of the fridge for the first time and I was supposed to roll them together they seemed too cold and were breaking apart. Then if they were too warm they were very sticky. I did finally get them to roll together and they are in the fridge for the next 4 hours. I'm thinking mine are not going to look as beutiful as yours do with the pretty spirals on the inside. Any suggestions? Also, do I HAVE to use parchment paper? I don't have any. Thanks!!! Bet these are tasty no matter what!

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  16. great job..cant wait to try..

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  17. how much is a stick of butter? Just curious, want to make the correct amount. thanks!

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  18. @nlowe - a stick of butter is equal to a 1/2 cup (or 8 tablespoons).

    I was reading through comments trying to figure out how many this recipe makes - guess I'll find out! Lol

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  19. These are so gorgeous! So festive for the holidays, I totally love them! :)

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  20. I love these, what a great idea! I found you through Pinterest, you do an amazing job!!

    I featured these on my blog today, feel free to stop by & check it out :)
    http://artsyfartsymama.blogspot.com/2011/12/pinteresting-features-n-shtuff-12.html

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  21. Thanks!
    My Daughter (7) and I are going to make these for her Girl Guides (Brownies) cookie exchange! She is super about it!

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  22. Made these yesterday and they came out great! Made them red and green and they looked pretty much like the pic. We didnt leave them in the fridge nearly as long as the directions stated, probably not even half an hour each time. Our batch came out to just about 2 dozen. The flavor is great though, just like butter cookies, they are perfect. Definitely a keeper recipe, even if just for cutouts.

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  23. These are just gorgeous and I really want to make them tonight. Did you use softened butter or cold? Found you via Pinterest! What a great vehicle for sharing great recipes. Thank you!!

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  24. Wow, these are so fun. Can't wait to make! :-)

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  25. Glad you saw my blog post about your awesome recipe. Thanks so much for your kind comment. I really did have fun making these. In fact, I was thinking I want to try them again with three layers--red, white and green. Wouldn't that be fun?!

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  26. Is the butter supposed to be soft or cold? I want to make these today but I'm not sure which to use..Help!

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  27. These look so pretty...and tasty. I just joined your blog, and I hope you will drop in to visit mine. Patsy

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  28. Have you used sanding sugars with this recipe? Just wondering if it would stick as well as sprinkles as well as if they would dissolve during baking. I'm in a cookie contest (among friends) and this is on my list as a possibility!

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  29. These are definitely not easy. I did use a hand mixer - so to the previous commenter that does work but it did take more work than a stand mixer I'm sure. I tried it with cold butter but that definitely did not work. The butter needed to be softened just a bit. I would say not room temp but just slightly softened. Also, don't forget to roll in sprinkles before you refrigerate...I couldn't get the sprinkles to stick and then had to let the dough warm a bit. I only got about 14 good cookies out of one batch. I had planned to try these for a cookie exchange but definitely too time consuming to make as many cookies as I needed. But they are pretty and yummy - would try again if I just need a dozen cookies but don't know when that ever is...lol!

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  30. These turn out perfect!! Like many others I found via pinterest. Giving them out as holiday gifts soon! While I don't think they are necessarily easy, I do love that you can basically use as slice and bake and bake only how many you need for one night. I found that mine made about 2-3 dozen. I used sugar sprinkles because that happened to be all I had.

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  31. I made these and they look great except that when I baked them the sprinkles migrated down and are now on the bottom of the cookies. What did I do wrong?

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  32. Kind of hard to make, simple steps but so many things must go right in order for them to turn out. The flavor is great! Mine just aren't as pretty as yours! LOL
    I must say mine got HUGE in the oven. They nearly tripled in size! My batch only made 18 cookies, so at least a person only needs one cookie since they are so huge. ha ha

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  33. I made these cookies today. I used a hand mixer because I don't have a kitchen aid mixer. It is possible, but much more difficult and makes a huge mess in your kitchen. I had the same problem, when I went to roll them, they cracked so when I let them sit out for a few they turned too mushy, but I made do. The taste is okay, but they look great!

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  34. yea this so didnt work, the dough never firmed up, I just wasted my time and supplies. SO NOT WORTH THE MESS!!

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  35. I am laughing at some of these reviews as usually I HATE making anything besides drop cookies. These were so easy to make! I'm entertaining the idea of getting more ingredients tomorrow to make a chocolate/mint version. Anyway, what made it easy for me: 1)stand mixer, 2)mostly cold butter (cube it when cold!), 3)wax paper is essential, 4)chill the rolled out dough VERY well, 5)keep the bottom piece of wax paper on as you roll it up it will help you not get sticky and it won't allow the dough to crack even when it's cold. Good luck!

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    1. I forgot to come back and update. I did make the chocolate with a green mint swirl and rolled it in chocolate sprinkles. WHOA. So good! I'm getting ready to make my first of several batches (over the holidays) of these this week. I offered to bring 2 dozen cookies to a children's program and this is my all time favorite cookie ever!

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    2. Yeah rolling with the wax paper on was key for me as well. They are refridgerating (rolled) the second time. Can't wait to see how they bake!

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  36. Okay so I am currently waiting for my batch to chill (just finished rolling the layers together and it was a slight disaster). I had the same problem mentioned earlier about either being to brittle or too mushy...

    However things to help- yes keep going back to chill the dough because when it gets mushy there is nothing you can do from there and you can cool them off again. KEEP THE WAX PAPER- ultimately saved me when rolling them, almost threw in the gloves bc it was just a crumbly mess. It is a lot easier to roll it up and add the sprinkles when you use the wax paper instead of your hands.

    I followed all the ingredients, used a proper mixer, and the only thing I think that could have created an issue for me was that my butter was at room temperature. Something just seemed a little off so I know the spirals wont come out so perfect but hopefully will still be yummy. I'm home from college for the holidays and saw this on pinterest so I thought it would be a fun activity to do with my sister. Almost a full day activity though so plan on giving yourself time if you want to make these...

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  37. So like I predicted they did not come out in perfect spirals but still looked cute and christmasy and very yummy! My mom and I want to consider experimenting and see how they would turn out if you used crisco instead.. thinking they may not crumble as easily.

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  38. I just found your site through Pinterest--I'm interested, what is the What's Baking? challenge thing? I mean, how did it get started, and how do you view the challenge each time? Sounds like a fun thing to do!

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  39. I made this yesterday and have no idea what I did wrong. My dough was not crumbly at all, it was SO SOFT. I kept adding more flour to give it better consistency. I didn't want to add too much because I didn't want them to be gross. They never really got very "hard" at all, so when I cut them to cook them they kinda mushed and they don't have the spiral look at all. I left the dough in the fridge overnight, so I know it was plenty cold, but they still mushed. Any ideas of what I did wrong?

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    1. Did you melt your butter? That will definitely mess up the consistency. Also, I threw mine in the freezer (I think for around an hour) after I rolled out the dough flat. Hope this helps :)

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    2. Just re-read your post - it also says to freeze the dough after you roll it and before you cut it to keep the round shape of the log.

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    3. I had the exact same problem as you did :(

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  40. I am making these for the 2012 Election night! Red and white; Blue and white. Allows my guests to choose their poison :)

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  41. Mi piacerebbe provare la tua ricetta per i miei figli ma non capisco le misure americane si potrebbe avere in grammi?
    Grazie!

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    Replies
    1. http://calculator-converter.com/converter_g_to_c_grams_to_cups_calculator.php

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  42. My mother-in-law is having a cookie exchange and these are sure to win the prize for prettiest cookies! I'm thinking I might add a layer of red...

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  43. Hi! I love this holiday idea! I have entered this post in a gallery page called “Ways to Deck the Halls with Glitter”, linking full credit back to your blog, of course. I would love for you to review it and please let me know that I have your approval. Otherwise I will take it off of the page immediately.
    Thanks, Tami @ Curb Alert!
    http://tamicurbalert.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

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  44. I tried to make these last night and they didn't turn out very well. I thought I followed the instructions perfectly. My spirals weren't that great, but that was ok. The real problem was when I baked them, they spread out like crazy and ended up very thin and crumbly. I used cold butter and the dough log was in the fridge overnight before I cut and baked them. I'm in Denver, so maybe the altitude was a factor? At any rate, if anyone has tips for me, I'd love to try them, as I really want to have these cookies on my client cookie platters this year! :)

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  45. Can someone fill me in on how much 2 1/2 sticks of butter is? I want to make these cookies but I dont want to try with the wrong amount. Thanks!

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    1. 1 stick = 1/2 cup

      2 1/2 sticks = 1 1/4 cup

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    2. In case you are baking by weight, one stick is also 1/4 pound, or approx 113 grams.

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  46. I made these and they turned out amazing.

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  47. I featured these cookies on my blog today! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  48. Just wanted to let you know that this was a very easy recipe to follow. I thought that there was a mistake since there are no eggs, but it came out great. I used a hand mixer and it still worked great. I only chilled the rolled out dough for a few minutes before putting the one color on top of the other. It was fairly easy to roll up and I made them a bit narrower so I got A LOT of cookies - about 4 dozen. I rolled them in colored sprinkles before setting them in the fridge to harden. Once chilled, they were easy to cut and bake. I made my red swirl with peppermint extract. Delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

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  49. I don't know why people were having problems with these, they were super easy to make! I didn't have a stand up mixer so I used a fork to chop the butter until it was the best I could do, then used a hand mixer until it was starting to ball up, then I went back to the fork to mix in the vanilla and color. I got 24 cookies, and cooked the first 12 until they were golden brown, which was too long because those cookies got hard. (still taste good) but the last 12 I only cooked 14 minutes, and they turned out soft and perfect, thanks for the great recipe!

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  50. Delicious! Marilyn S, I too thought that maybe the eggs were forgotten. Not the case. They're easy to make if you're a seasoned baker. I think if I didn't have knowledge about how dough is supposed to feel and when to put it back in the fridge instead of overworking it I would have had a lot more trouble. They turned out beautiful! I rolled mine in crushed candy canes. Not the best idea, they melted. I should have put them into the red batter that I made. Next time.

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  51. I just made these and they are amazing. I used lemon extract in them and only baked for 11 minutes, otherwise I followed this to a tee. They are a little crisp without being dry. Amazing!

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  52. We made them rainbow style. They're really cute, but they did spread a bit. I think I would make the log smaller next time.

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  54. Found this post on Pinterest and I have to say it is the most amazing Christmas cookie ever. Not looking for snow or anything but I am looking forward to making these with my grandchildren. :)

    I noticed you pinned one of my Easter collages....thanks ♥

    Stop by my blog hop? It's live right now!
    Blessings,
    Sinea
    Ducks ‘n a Row

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  55. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward for more like this. Also don't forget to see this Italian Kitchens in Mumbai

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  56. Would make great cookies for any time of year with appropriate sprinkles and colors. Fourth of July, Halloween...you get the gist.

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  57. Just featured this post in my Cookies Cookies Cookies! roundup. Stop by?
    Sinea from Ducks 'n a Row
    http://www.ducksnarow.com/2013/11/cookies-cookies-cookies.html

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  58. I made these for the first time for a cookie exchange and contest at work. Unfortunately I couldn't find the cool sprinkles and had to use green sugar on the outside. They turned out very pretty and I received a number of compliments on how cool they looked through.

    For those of you who had issues with spreading of the dough, that's because the dough was too warm. When you go to roll, cut and bake the dough, it needs to be very well chilled. If your dough starts getting sticky when handling it, put it in the freezer for a just a few minutes or back in the fridge to cool for another 30 minutes.

    Also, when I mixed the dough, I cubed cold butter and added the little cubes of butter slowly to the mixture. For some reason my dough was a little too dry, so I added a tiny bit of water (like you would for pasta dough) until it came to the right consistency. Watch out for the food coloring which can change the texture of the dough, add less water to that if you find you need to or add a little more flour for a consistent texture.

    I made two batches and each roll made about 30 cookies when cut to be a little thinner. Again, make sure your dough is very chilled prior to cutting. I didn't win the contest, but my husband enjoyed taste testing them and they had a lovely buttery flavor.

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  59. I have mine rolled and in the fridge chilling, I will cut thinner so I can get more out of them. I am doing a cookie exchange and need 4 dozen :)

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  60. I found your recipe through Pinterest. Baked these and boy are they delicious. I'll have to play around with rolling them as mine did not turn out quite so uniform and cracked quite a lot, but that cold very well have been from my impatience in wanting to back them and not allowing them to thaw a bit from an overnight stay in the fridge. Still, they are very yummy! Thank you for posting this recipe and tutorial!

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  61. I got 2 dozen out of my roll and they turned out awesome :)

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  62. Found on Pinterest, thanks for sharing. Mine turned out. I used room temperature butter which I cut into chunks. I used a hand mixer. At first I didn't think it was going to because it appeared to be a crumbled dry mess, but I kept working my mixer in just a corner of the bowl and it came together. I chilled in the fridge as directed, and was able to roll it shortly after taking it out leaving the wax paper on the bottom, using that to begin the roll without sticking or direct contact. Really helpful was running one of my hands a few times over the wax paper and dough along the length that needed to start rolling. That gentle friction made it pliable enough to roll and also mend cracks that formed. It was slow going. I cooked them for 13 minutes, cutting 1/4" because thinner than that browned too soon for me. Mine retained their shape, did not swell or spread out.

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  63. Just made a double batch for my son's Christmas party at school. They came out great! They taste and look good! I did red and green swirls, very festive. Thank you!

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  64. Just made these. They look great but they don't taste like sugar cookies-they are way too buttery. Also beware they burn very quickly.

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  65. I am making them right now too. But instead of green I made them pink and white and pink sprinkles with my four year old granddaughter. Thanks for the tip Alexandra

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  66. Ok, I make these as cheater cookies. Pick up 2 refrigerator rolls of sugar cookies. Place one in ziplock type bag, add food color of choice, close bag and massage color into dough, (great had exercise). Then follow directions. Taste great, look great and it takes less than 30 mins, better yet no clean up. Ps. I always use parchment on cookie sheets for same reason.

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