Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chocolate Cream Cheese Pinwheels

This year I went all out on holiday cookies -- although I have plenty of cook books and reliable recipes at my disposal, I wanted to make some new recipes. Needless to say, when I found FoodBlogga's Eat Christmas Cookies project the possibilities for my beautifully packaged perfect cookie boxes. I was sure they would be an effortless hit, with such detailed instructions and a few days of baking time.

I'm not one to back down from a challenge, but this is a spin on the traditional pinwheel cookies (no pun intended!) which turned out to be a lot harder than everyone else had said. The dough didn't want to roll out and certainly didn't want to turn into adorable pinwheels. In frustration I made snakes out of the dough, mashed them together and wound up with marble cookies. They tasted great, but technically weren't pinwheels -- so if you're not a fan of roll-out cookie dough, feel free to arrange these however you please.

While these weren't the favorite, they were a solid hit and kept especially well. The recipe makes a lot, so make sure you have plenty of friends to give them to!

Cream Cheese dough:

2 1/4c flour
1 egg yolk
1c white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1c butter
3 oz cream cheese (this is one where you shouldn't use low fat, just get the regular stuff)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar, add the cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and chill the dough for at least 8 hours before use, otherwise it will be too soft to work with.

Chocolate dough:
2 1/2 c flour
7 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2c butter
1c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Follow the same procedure as you did with the cream cheese dough -- cream the butter and sugar together, blend in the other wet ingredients and then add the dry gradually. Put this dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes before using, but it will not be nearly as soft as the cream cheese dough.

Roll out the chocolate dough using a "1 deep cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Do the same with the cream cheese dough. Brush the top of the chocolate layer with a tiny bit of milk and stack the cream cheese one on top. Roll the stack so the longest side ends up as the length of the roll -- for example, if you've rolled your dough into an approximately 9 x 13 rectangle, your log should be "13 rather than "9 in length.

Place in the freezer for thirty minutes to an hour. Preheat the oven to 375. Remove the log(s) from the freezer and using a sharp knife, slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide rounds. Place them about 1/2 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes -- don't worry if you don't see browning, they will be done all the way through if they're sliced thin enough. Allow to cool and eat!

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