Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pinwheels


Pinwheels
Source: Maida Heatter's Cookies (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1997 ed.), pg. 184.

These cookies are fun to make but you may find them a bit time consuming. They look extraordinary and you will be proud of yourself when they come out of the oven. I still haven't mastered the art of rolling up a perfectly "round" roll - mine always end up a bit flattened. This will affect the appearance so try to make the dough roll as round as you can. And if you have any tips on doing this, let me know!

The cookies are good and actually better after a day or so. I found the almond, pecan and coffee flavors more noticeable than the chocolate, which I could not detect. But now that I think about it, I'm sure the whole purpose of the chocolate is to provide the darker colored dough.

I used powdered expresso instead of instant coffee. I don't believe it will make much of a difference.

Although the recipe says that it makes 56 cookies, I did not have this many (I probably cut the slices too thick). 

On a totally different note (and rant) - has anyone noticed that Baker's chocolate squares now come in 4 oz. packages instead of 8? And the price is not that much lower? Arrgghh!

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 oz. (1 square) unsweetened chocolate
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. powdered instant coffee
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Melt the chocolate in the top of a small double boiler. Set aside to cool.

Cream the butter in a mixer bowl and add the vanilla and the sugar. Mix well.
 
Add the egg and beat well.

On low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Divide the dough into 2 bowls.
To one half of the dough, add the melted chocolate and the coffee powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
To the other half of the dough, add the chopped nuts and the almond extract.
Tear off 4 pieces of wax paper, each about 17 inches long. On one piece, place one of the doughs.
Cover with another piece of wax paper and flatten it with your hands.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an oblong shape about 14x9 inches.
When the dough is the correct size, remove the paper and cut away the excess dough and use it to neaten up the edges. Be careful not to have the edges thinner than the center or air spaces will occur.
Now do the same thing with the other piece of dough.
Place the 2 doughs on a sheet pan and let them chill in the freezer. Remove after chilled and place one of the doughs in front of you. Carefully place the second dough over the first and remove the top piece of wax paper.
Use the bottom piece of wax paper to roll the dough in a jelly-roll fashion. Wrap the rolled dough in wax paper and put it in the freezer to chill until it is very firm.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment or foil. Unwrap the chilled dough and slice it with a sharp knife into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices 1 inch apart on the lined pans.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are slightly colored around the edges. Do not overbake. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and Maida's recipes of course! To keep cut and bake cookies round while chilling, I place them in the cardboard inner of paper towels or a postage tube. If you have the right size you don't end up with a flat side.

Phillip Oliver said...

I had never thought of that. Excellent idea! I will have to try that. Thanks!

Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...

I think your cookies look beautiful!! And who wants 54 thin crispy cookies when they can have thicker chewy ones?

@Anonymous: What a great idea!