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A&E >  Food

Dorothy Dean presents: Valentine’s Day pinwheel cookies will have your sweetheart spinning

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 8, 2021

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

This Valentine’s Day, say “I love you” in the sweetest way possible – with a homemade treat. Festive and scrumptious, these red-and-white pinwheel cookies would have even Cupid mesmerized.

Made with a simple sugar cookie dough, the cookies have a buttery crumb and slightly crisp texture. They’re also encircled in sprinkles, which adds a welcoming crunch.

If that stunning swirl has you doubting your baking abilities, I assure you, they’re easier to make than you think. A little patience is all that’s required, as the process involves chilling time.

Made with one cookie dough, the dough is divided into two halves, leaving one half white and dyeing the other half red.

Each dough is then rolled out (chilled) and then stacked together and rolled tightly, like a cinnamon roll. The log is then coated in sprinkles (chilled), before being sliced and baked. Simple enough, right?!

Be it a batch for the sweethearts in your life, a classroom treat for the kiddos or your galentine’s squad, these are sure to warm the heart and satisfy the sweet tooth.

This recipe is also super versatile, as the colors, sprinkles and extract flavors can be swapped to match any occasion or holiday.

For St. Patrick’s Day, use green dye and mint flavor. Easter would be lovely with a hint of lemon and pretty pastels, which would also be perfect for baby showers.

For the Fourth of July, divide the dough in thirds, adding in a blue layer; do the same for Christmas, with the added layer being green. Black and orange just screams Halloween, or try green and purple.

Valentine’s Pinwheel Cookies

Adapted from

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ⅓ cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Red food coloring

Sprinkles/decorations of your choice

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Add the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until creamy and fluffy. One at a time, add in the eggs, followed by the vanilla extract and continue beating at medium speed until combined.

Add in the flour mixture, ⅓ at a time, and mix on low until thoroughly combined.

Remove the dough from the bowl and split it evenly in half. (I used a kitchen scale to ensure that both portions were even.)

Place one half back in the mixing bowl and add red food coloring and mix until the desired shade is reached.

Shape each dough into an 8-inch square, then wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Remove the squares from the refrigerator and slice each of them in half – you should have four rectangles at this point (two white, two red).

Take out two sheets of wax or parchment paper and place a white dough rectangle on each sheet. Then, place a red dough rectangle on top of each white rectangle.

Take out two more sheets of wax/parchment paper and place them on top of each dough stack. Roll out each stack into a rectangle about ¼-inch thick.

Remove the sheet of wax/parchment paper from the top of each stack, and, starting from the short side of the rectangle, roll each stack tightly into a log.

Pour the sprinkles into a shallow baking sheet or dish, and roll and press each log into the sprinkles until fully coated.

Wrap each log in a sheet of wax or parchment paper and then plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. Roll each log on the counter a bit to get rid of any flat sides.

Unwrap the logs and slice each of them into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on baking sheets and bake each sheet 9-11 minutes, until edges are slightly golden.

Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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