Monday, January 5, 2009

Chocolate Cherry Pinwheels

If you like big soft cookies, I have a cookie for you. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of big soft cookies, and I would have preferred a richer, more chocolately flavor. They're fun and very pretty, but not something I have to have again. But, these are my new favorite style of cookie, the slice and bake. I currently have 3 different types of slice and bake cookies in my fridge and freezer, so I can have a variety of fresh baked cookies at a moments notice. Really, does life get better than that?

I omitted the food coloring, but I did find that the marachino cherry syrup stains fingers very nicely. I didn't dry them as well as I should have, so the cherry dough was stickier than the chocolate dough. Fortunately, that didn't seem to make a difference on the final product. And the extra cherry syrup colored the dough sufficiently.

Chocolate-Cherry Pinwheels

Source: Betty Crocker

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, finely chopped and drained on paper towels
3 drops red food color
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in flour, baking powder and salt until well blended. Place half of dough in another medium bowl.

2. Beat almond extract, cherries and food color into half of dough. Divide cherry dough in half. Wrap each half of cherry dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until firm.

3. Beat vanilla, milk and cocoa into remaining plain dough. Divide chocolate dough in half. Wrap each half of chocolate dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until firm.

4. Place one part of chocolate dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper; roll into 10x7-inch rectangle. Repeat with one part of cherry dough. Refrigerate both about 30 minutes or until firm. Peel top sheets of waxed paper from both doughs. Turn cherry dough upside down onto chocolate dough; roll up doughs together, starting at long side, into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours. Repeat with remaining parts of dough.

5. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut rolls of dough into 1/4-inch slices with sharp knife. On ungreased cookie sheet, place slices 1 inch apart.

6. Bake 8 to 11 minutes or surface appears dull. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Time Saving Tips:
Cookie dough rolls can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking.

To freeze cookie dough rolls, wrap in foil or freezer proof wrap. To thaw, let dough stand 15 to 30 minutes until easy to cut into slices.

If you are making more than one batch of these cookies save yourself the hassle of dividing the batter and make your first complete batch cherry flavored and the second chocolate flavored.

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