Monday, December 16, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies

I'm searching for the perfect cookie that combines chocolate and peppermint. Every year, I try a new one, but while all have been tasty, there hasn't been one that made me close my eyes and blissfully sigh. These Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies come close. The more I eat them, the more I like them. They just might become a permanent addition to the holiday cookie baking list.
I know. I said I wasn't in the mood to bake. I wasn't feeling it. The holidays were annoying me. But then we baked some cookies. Then I started leafing through holiday cookie recipes. I pulled out 3 holiday cookie magazines, a holiday cookie cookbook, my holiday cookie recipes ripped from newspapers and magazines plus the latest issues with holiday cookies and before I knew it, I had compiled a list of 50 cookie possibilities.

So I sorted the possibilities. All the chocolate-peppermint possibilities were listed together and I carefully considered which one to bake. There was no doubt there would be a chocolate-peppermint cookie. I just had to decide which one. Alton Brown's Chocolate-Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies won because SP likes Alton Brown and because they had made the short list the past 2-3 years but always lost out. This is their year.
Of course I didn't read the reviews until after they were in the oven. That's when I started to worry. Too dry, bland, not worth the effort, too minty, not enough chocolate - those were some of the complaints. These are a fair amount of effort. But we've made pinwheel cookies before, so thankfully, it wasn't our first experience with this kind of cookie.
I can see why some people think these are dry, but we don't think they are dry. Pinwheels are a bit of a drier, flakier cookie. These have the same texture and moisture as the Cinnamon Bun Pinwheels we make and love. The candy cane bits melt a bit but then harden as the cookie cools, leaving pockets of slightly soft and chewy melted then solidified candy cane bits. At first I wasn't sure I liked those bits, but they have grown on me. I tried to get a photo, above and below photos are me trying to capture the part of the cookie I'm talking about.
We both really like this cookie. I can taste the chocolate and the peppermint - flavors that I really, really, really like. Next time, I might pulverize the candy canes into dust, but I'm not definitely sure about that because it works fine with bigger chunks.

Here's how I know I really like these: it was hard to part with some of them when we mailed cookies to family. I was counting how many were left for me! Notice I said me, not me & SP. He's been warned - these are close to the top of my favorites list.

Note: We made the sugar dough, divided it in half, mixed in the chocolate and peppermint flavors, then refrigerated the 2 halves. There was a bit of confusion on my part and in some reviews regarding when and for how long to chill the dough. I don't know if our way was the way it was supposed to be, but it worked fine for us.

2 comments:

  1. You had me at "leaving pockets of slightly soft and chewy melted then solidified candy cane bits". I am such a sucker for a cookie with some funky texture! I don't know if that makes me weird ;) Thank you for sharing these and all your tips should make it easier on me when I give them a shot!

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    1. Definitely try them. I wonder if our candy canes were a little softer/chewier than they should have been - they were actually leftover from last year because we bought them but didn't use them! They had a bit of that old hard candy soft/chewy texture! Oh well, the results are delicious, even with year old candy canes!

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