Did you ever read the book “Alexander and the terrible, no good, very bad day” when you were a kid? Its a pretty good parallel of my week so far. Alexander gets gum stuck in his hair and can’t find his shoes and a bunch of other things that make his day terrible, no good, and very bad. While I have yet to get gum stuck in my hair, its been a week of obstacles, challenges, and I’m not going to lie….some tears….I can be a little dramatic…I know….you’re shocked…..I hide it well.
So today I thought I would soothe away the stress with some baking. Found this recipe for peppermint pinwheels and I thought “sure! I can do that!”. Wrong. Apparently peppermint pinwheels are an exercise in patience. I never got any of that. I don’t even really understand it. I hear it can be useful. The idea behind these cookies is awesome, vanilla sugar cookies with peppermint buttercream sandwiched in between. Yes please.
Everything started out pretty simple. Make cookie dough. Divide cookie dough. Color half the cookie dough red. Check.
Wrap the two different colored dough balls in plastic wrap and put in the fridge. Check.
After a half hour in the fridge, use a rolling pin to roll out each color into equal sized rectangles on a lightly floured surface. Kind of check…..rectangles….not so much, but I got close. Stack the rectangles on top of each other and carefully roll them into a log. Tip: These cookies are way cuter if you make sure the red is on the outside of the cookie. Meaning stack the white dough on top of the red, not the other way around like I did.
Refrigerate the roll four hours. About that….I wanted cookies sooner than that. So I took the log out of the fridge at around 3 hours. No biggie right? Eh…. see the softer the dough, the harder it is to cut them and end up with round cookies. The soft dough creates a square edge to the cookie. See….
This meant my cookies required a little help to make them round again. The dough looked more like those dog treats shaped like steak than pretty pinwheel cookies.
Baking helped. The cookies turned out kind of like pinwheels….I guess. The cookies are super amazing, melt in your mouth. Add frosting…..holy cow. So, I didn’t quite wait for them to cool all the way and frosted them early. Not too big of a deal…at this point I realized I wouldn’t be serving them at any events or wrapping them up as gifts.
Just as I decided that they didn’t turn out as terrible looking as I thought they would….I picked up the cooling rack and turned around quickly to move them to the kitchen counter….and……yep…………
My awesome week continues……
Recipe from apastryaffair.com
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Red gel food coloring, as needed
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until well combined.
Remove 1/2 of the dough and add red food coloring to the remaining dough, beating until well mixed. Gel food color will work best, dying the dough to a deep red. Water based food colors will most likely leave you with a pink dough, no matter how much coloring you add. Wrap each dough separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a half hour to an hour to firm up the dough.
Roll out one color of dough to 1/4-inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured non-stick baking mat or wax paper. Roll out the second color of dough to 1/4-inch thick rectangle of the same size on a lightly floured surface. Place the second rectangle on top of the first and trim the edges until even. Using the mat or wax paper, roll the dough into a log. Secure with rubber bands and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours to firm up.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for best cookie removal.
Remove rubber bands from cookie log and place on a lightly floured surface. Cut cookies to 1/8-inch thick and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes; do not allow the edges to brown. Cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
1 stick of butter, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and continue beating on low until combined. Mix in peppermint extract, heavy cream, and salt. If frosting is too thick, add an additional teaspoon or two of heavy cream to smooth it out. If frosting is too thin, add additional cup of powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.
Using a pastry bag (or plastic bag with the corner cut out), pipe peppermint buttercream onto the bottom of a pinwheel cookie and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat this using all pinwheel cookies. Let buttercream dry before storing cookies in an airtight container.