Shortbread Pinwheels Recipe, a.k.a. “Happiness Cookies”

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Buttery vanilla and chocolate shortbread cookies presented in a fun pinwheel design, with colorful sprinkles for an added touch of whimsy.

Shortbread Pinwheel Cookies | ComfortablyDomestic.com, a.k.a. Happiness Cookies

Oh. My. Goodness!! How cute are these cookies?!

It’s no secret that we eat well in the Comfortably Domestic household. My boys like to eat, and they love their treats. With the sheer volume of cooking and baking that goes in to sustaining a family of six, the routine can easily become arduous and mundane. I can get a little burnt out with all of the constant go-go-go of daily life.

Then we eat cereal for dinner for a couple of nights, and I’m good to go!

Not really. Well, the cereal part is true, but taking a few nights off doesn’t necessarily restore my culinary mojo and get me running back to the kitchen. At these times, sometimes I get a little burr up my backside and feel compelled to bake something that is not only delicious, but also fun and pretty as well.

Shortbread Pinwheels - Happiness Cookies | ComfortablyDomestic.com

The possibility of crisp, chocolaty cookies will get me slapping butter on the counter to soften while en route to my mixer in no a hurry. Case in point: Shortbread Pinwheels. These cookies were inspired by Heather Baird – Sprinkle Bakes. Heather is a fine artist that decided to channel her significant talent into the confectionery world. Her creations are as gorgeous as they are delicious. I’m fortunate to have “met” Heather through the food blog world, and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since. She’s just good people.

Image copyright and courtesy of Heather Baird – SprinkleBakes.com

Of course when I heard Heather was publishing a Sprinkle Bakes cookbook, I immediately plopped that sucker in my Amazon cart for pre-order. I was not disappointed. I defy anyone not to be inspired when perusing the edible works of art in Sprinkle Bakes; everything is ridiculously beautiful! While she includes a pinwheel cookie that I modeled the appearance of this recipe after, I tweaked my own favorite shortbread recipe and then followed her technique to make my own version.

The genius is all Heather Baird. The recipe is my own. Amen.

Shortbread Pinwheels - Happiness Cookies | ComfortablyDomestic.com

Of course I couldn’t bake such pretty and whimsical cookies without sharing them with a few friends. Baking is great therapy in the midst of my otherwise hectic life, but these cookies brought more than a feeling of relaxation to my heart. These Shortbread Pinwheels brought a sense of contentment that made me smile. My BFF Kat-the-sprinkle-raven dubbed them, “Happiness Cookies” at the first sight of them. With a name like that, I couldn’t help but share the happiness that these cookies brought forth with a few friends!

I wish I were able to send ALL of you a batch of Happiness Cookies! These crisp, buttery vanilla and chocolate shortbread cookies  are as delicious as they are fun and whimsical!

Shortbread Pinwheel Collage Part 1 | ComfortablyDomestic.com Shortbread Pinwheel Collage Part 2 | ComfortablyDomestic.com Shortbread Pinwheel Collage Part 3 | ComfortablyDomestic.com

In lieu of that, please accept my sharing the recipe instead. The recipe and method are not difficult, but they do take a little time and patience because there is a need to chill the dough well in between steps. BUT once the pinwheels are assembled, you can keep them tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week before baking, or freeze the cookie logs for up to 3 months! Just think of the oooo’s and aaaaah’s that will be bestowed upon you when you serve these gorgeous cookies!

Shortbread Pinwheels are certain to bring a smile to the face of anyone that you share them with!

♥♥♥

Shortbread Pinwheel Cookies

a.k.a. Happiness Cookies

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Makes 5 ½ Dozen Cookies

 Buttery vanilla and chocolate shortbread cookies presented in a fun pinwheel design, with colorful sprinkles for an added touch of whimsy.

Prep Time: 2 hours (plus 3 hours of chill time) Cook Time: 12 to 14 minutes, Total Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes

 

For the Vanilla Shortbread Base:

1 ½ C. unsalted butter (3 sticks)

1 C. granulated sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 ¼ C. all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

 

For the Chocolate Shortbread Base:

1 ½ C. unsalted butter (3 sticks)

1 C. granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 ¾ C. all-purpose flour

¾ C. unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking soda

 

For Encrusting the Dough:

1 C. oven safe multicolored sprinkles (sometimes called Carousel Mix or Jimmies), or more

 

For the Vanilla Base –

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until it looks creamy, and has lightened a bit in color. Stir in the vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Whisk the salt into the flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2-3 batches, mixing well in between, until the dough comes together.

Lay two large pieces of plastic wrap on a clean, flat surface. Dump the dough onto one of the sheets of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a ball and divide it in half. Each half should be around 18.5oz. or 524g each. Press each half it into a rectangle about ¼-inch thick on separate sheets of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough halves, and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the Chocolate Base –

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until it looks creamy, and has lightened a bit in color. Stir in the vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Whisk the unsweetened cocoa powder, salt and baking soda into the flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2-3 batches, mixing well in between, until the dough comes together.

Lay two large pieces of plastic wrap on a clean, flat surface. Dump the dough onto one of the sheets of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a ball and divide it in half. Each half should be around 17.5oz. or 505g each.  Press each half it into a rectangle about ¼-inch thick on separate sheets of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough halves, and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To Assemble the Pinwheels –

Unwrap one of the chilled vanilla dough rectangles. Roll it out on a floured surface into a large rectangle that’s about 9” x 14” until it’s just under ¼ -inch thick. Unwrap one of the chocolate dough rectangles. Roll it out on a large piece of floured parchment paper, until it takes the shape of a large rectangle that’s about 9” x 14” until it’s just under ¼ -inch thick.

Brush the top of the vanilla dough with a small amount of cold water. Carefully life the chocolate dough by the edges of the parchment paper, and then quickly flip it over onto the vanilla dough. Gently smooth the top of the chocolate dough over the vanilla dough to release any air pockets. Trim the edges of the layered dough to form an even rectangle with the layers. (The scraps may be formed into marbled cookies to bake later.)

Starting with the long edge farthest away, begin to tightly roll the layers toward you—jelly or cinnamon roll style—to form a large log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm up a bit.  Repeat with the remaining refrigerated vanilla and chocolate dough.

Once the logs of dough are firm, pour the colored sprinkles onto a rimmed baking sheet. Unwrap one of the logs and roll it in the sprinkles to thoroughly coat the exterior. Rewrap the sprinkled log and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours (preferably overnight) until very firm. Repeat with the remaining log of dough, adding more sprinkles as necessary.

On Baking Day –

Once the logs are very firm, remove one from the refrigerator. Unwrap the cookie dough log and place it on a large cutting board. Take a minute to preheat oven to 350 degrees, as well as line several baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats in order.

Use a serrated bread knife to slice the log into ¼ -inch thick pinwheel rounds. Place the pinwheels 2-inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Hold any pinwheels not currently being baked wrapped in the refrigerator. Bake the pinwheels for 12 to 14 minutes or until set but not browned. Allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheets for 3 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat the process with the remaining cookie dough. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Recipe Notes: This cookie dough freezes beautifully! Simply double wrap the sprinkle encrusted cookie dough logs in plastic wrap, and then again in aluminum foil. Dough may be frozen for up to a month. To bake, thaw the logs overnight in the refrigerator, and then slice and bake the following day.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,242 other followers