Making cookies using colored dough is one of my favorite things to do on lazy baking days. It eliminates all the measuring, sifting, and stirring that royal icing requires, but still creates a beautiful cookie. This is especially true if you use three different colored doughs! A pretty swirl pattern and a touch of sparkle around the edges takes these pinwheel swirl cookies over the top.
Supplies for Pinwheel Swirl Cookies
To make pinwheel swirl cookies, you will need:
Sugar cookie dough made from your favorite sugar cookie recipe
Red, orange, and yellow gel food coloring (or any three colors)
Green sparkling sugar (or any other color)
Mini leaf cookie cutters (or any other mini shape)
How To Make Pinwheel Swirl Cookies
Separate your sugar cookie dough into three equal sections. Add a small amount of food coloring to each section and knead the dough until the coloring is blended throughout.
Roll out each section of dough so that it is approximately 1/8″ thick. Since you will be layering the colored dough on top of each other, you want to roll them out thinner than your usual cut out cookies.
Stack the colored dough so that you have three layers of color on top of a sheet of parchment paper. The colored dough on the bottom of the stack will be the outer edge of your pinwheel swirl cookies. Try to line the layers up as closely as possible. Any excess unsightly pieces can be trimmed off later.
If at any time, the cookie dough becomes to soft to work with, set it in the fridge until it is chilled. Be careful not to let the dough get too cold or it will crack when you try to bend it.
Using the parchment paper to help smoothly guide the dough, gently roll it into a log shape.
Pour your sparkling sugar onto parchment paper, spreading it out in a thin layer. Beat your egg to make an egg wash and brush it on your cookie dough. Roll the dough in your sparkling sugar until it is evenly coated.
Set the log of dough in the fridge, along with a sharp knife, until both are chilled.
With your chilled knife, slice off the jagged ends of your colored dough log. Then, slice the rest of the dough into approximately 1/4″ thick circles.
For circular pinwheel swirl cookies: Set the sliced dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake according to the directions of your favorite sugar cookie recipe. You may need to add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time if your pinwheel swirl cookies are thicker than your usual sugar cookies.
For leaf (or other shaped) swirl cookies: Use your cookie cutters to cut into the center of the circular dough. Set the sliced dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake according to the directions of your favorite sugar cookie recipe. You may need to shorten the baking time by a couple of minutes if you used mini cookie cutters for smaller than usual cookies.
Not sure what to do with those left over outer rings of your cookie shapes? Add a little hard candy to the center and turn them into stained glass swirl cookies. For a step-by-step tutorial on making stained glass cookies, check out Stained Glass Christmas Cookies | Edible Ornaments.