Chocolate, Cherry, & Pistachio Pinwheels

pinwheel cookies 

I made these beautiful cookies this past Christmas to include in the cookie gift baskets I gave out as gifts.  They were delightful and a big hit.  Not only were they nice to look at, but each swirl had a distinct flavor and the flavors all complemented each other well.  These cookies were also much easier to make than expected.  The only problem that I had with this recipe was the amount of cookies it made.  The recipe said it makes about 40 cookies, but I ended up with only 20.  Nonetheless, they will definitely become a part of my cookie repertoire.

Chocolate, Cherry, & Pistachio Pinwheels

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg plus yolk of 1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
8 drops each green and red food color
1/4 cup dried sweetened cherries or cranberries, finely chopped

Beat butter, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with mixer on high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in egg and yolk until well blended. Reduce mixer speed to low; beat in flour just until combined.

Divide dough in thirds; place each portion in a separate bowl.

Add melted chocolate and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract to one bowl; pistachios, almond extract and green food color to another bowl; and cherries, remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and red food color to the last bowl. Stir each until ingredients have blended.

Place each portion between 2 sheets of wax paper. With a rolling pin, roll each into a 10 x 8-inch rectangle. Remove top sheets of paper. Invert cherry layer on chocolate layer, remove wax paper, then invert pistachio layer on cherry layer.

Freeze 10 minutes until slightly firm. Remove wax paper from top. Starting at a long side, tightly roll up jelly-roll style, peeling off bottom sheet of wax paper as you go and pressing together any cracks in chocolate dough.

Wrap and freeze 45 minutes until firm enough to slice.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut log in ¼-inch thick slices. Place pinwheels 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until bottoms are lightly golden. Immediately remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Storage tip: Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Makes about 40 pinwheels.

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One Comment on “Chocolate, Cherry, & Pistachio Pinwheels”

  1. […] Chocolate, Cherry, & Pistachio Pinwheels From March 9, 2005:  i made these beautiful cookies this past Christmas to include in the cookie gift baskets i gave out as gifts.  they were delightful and a big hit.  not only were they nice to look at, but each swirl had a distinct flavor and the flavors all complemented each other well.  these cookies were also much easier to make than expected.  the only problem that i had with this recipe was the … Read More […]


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