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.


  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!

    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!