Saturday, December 24, 2011

Seasonal Spiraling and Dizzying Delight

I heard this story about the "perfect Christmas cookie" on the radio back in 2005, and have saved the recipe ever since, but never got around to actually trying it until this year. I was looking for a fun cookie to make as a gift, and these spirals of red, green, and white sugar cookie dough seemed like the perfect choice.

I love how they look, and the texture is impeccable: crisp and melt-in-your-mouth. The dough was fairly easy to work with, and even though after slicing the rounds weren't perfeclty round, as you can see in the photo, they bake to a very even diameter.

I have to admit to being slightly disappointed in the flavor, but that can be easily remedied next time with a bit more extract of vanilla, almond, orange, or lemon zest. They have a nice butteriness, but there wasn't much other flavor dimension as the recipe was written, even with my high-quality clear vanilla from Mexico.

Because I was making these for gifts, and the recipe said it didn't make very many, I made a double batch, splitting the first batch into two and coloring half red and half green. With the second batch, I split it in two for the white, but saved the remainder for another use.

After my disappointment with the flavor, I decided to use the extra dough with a much stronger filling. I have another great Christmas cookie making pinwheels with a date filling. I took about a cup of dates, pureed them in the food processor with a couple tablespoons of brandy and a couple tablespoons of sugar plus two teaspoons of freshly ground anise seeds, then spread that on the extra plain dough and rolled it up. Chill and slice just like the tri-color recipe. The potent booze and spice flavors will mellow when they bake and meld with the butter cookie into a delicious and festive treat.

1 comment:

  1. THEY WERE DELICIOUS!!! I think I ate six last night. :) - Wendy