I made mini pinwheel and candy cane shaped cookies out of one extremely easy and delicious butter cookie recipe, and I have to say they turned out very festive looking. Shaping the cookie dough into candy canes brings out the inner child in you as it’s very much like playing with play dough. So have fun making these cookies if you decide to give it a go, you can even ask the kids to help you out.
These are two different looks with the same flavor out of the same batch of cookie dough recipe.
On the other hand, I’ve also made in an earlier post five different kinds of cookies from the same recipe, kind of like an all in one cookie recipe.
Or if you like hearts like I do, this earlier post shows how to make heart-shaped pinwheel cookies.
And if chocolate’s your thing, these earlier chocolate pinwheel cookies would just about cover that department. It’s always nice to have options.
If you’re in a festive holiday mood, these mini pinwheel and candy cane butter cookies will liven up any dessert table.
The cookie dough is really easy to make. Just divide the dough and tint one half in whatever color you like. Shape each half in a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for about 10 minutes.
When the dough is chilled, slice off about 1/3 of the dough from each color. Set aside the remaining dough for shaping into candy canes. Using a rolling pin, roll each color between two sheets of waxed paper into a narrow rectangle, then place the white dough on top of the colored dough. Roll the stacked sheets of dough into a log on the long side so you’ll have more cookies. Wrap the cookie dough log tightly in plastic wrap, chill for about 10 minutes, then roll it on the counter top to make the cookies as round as possible. Freeze the cookie dough log until you’re ready to bake the cookies. Slice cookies to about ¼-inch thickness.
To shape the candy canes, roll about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into a thin strip; just like you did in kindergarten with play dough. Do the same for each color. If you want longer candy canes, use slightly more than 1 tablespoon of cookie dough. Place the strips side by side and slightly press down for flat strips. Twist the ends of both strips. I find that when I reach midway, it’s easier to finish it off by twisting the opposite end. Form a hook, then coat the candy cane cookie in a plate of granulated sugar. Try to keep the strips as thin as possible because the cookie will expand when baked and you want to retain as much of the shape as possible. If the strips are too thick, the baked candy cane cookie will come out very thick.
Here’s the before and after. The cookies will expand quite a bit so keep the candy canes as slim as possible. You can bake the candy canes and pinwheels together or separately at 325°F for 20 minutes. The temperature and bake time remain constant whichever way you group the cookies. One recipe will yield about 48 cookies, two dozen candy cane cookies and two dozen mini pinwheel cookies. I varied the size of the candy canes but the average length was about five inches and the diameter of the baked mini pinwheels was about two inches.
But then again, if you happen to be in a rush, you can also bake the cookie dough just as it is. Simply shape them into balls, roll them in sugar and bake. Or if you want to make the cookie dough now, but bake them later, you can do that too. Just form the cookie dough into several logs, wrap and freeze them for baking later. When you’re ready to bake, slice the dough with a sharp knife, coat in sugar and bake! They are delicious, melt in your mouth buttery cookies.
You can wrap a couple of cookies in a cellophane bag and tie it up with a bow as a cute idea for giveaways or party favors.
Just remember to save a few cookies for Santa.
- 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter (339 g)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (108 g)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (4 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt (4 g)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (399 g)
- 1 -2 drops of red food gel color
- Plate of granulated sugar for coating the candy cane cookies
- With the flat beater of a stand mixer, beat butter until light and smooth.
- Gradually add powdered sugar. Then mix in salt and almond extract. Beat until well blended.
- Add flour and beat until well combined.
- Remove half of the cookie dough from the bowl. Tint the remaining half in the bowl with red food gel color or whatever color you prefer.
- Shape the white and red dough into balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice off about ⅓ off of each of the cookie dough balls. Set aside the remaining dough for shaping candy canes.
- With a rolling pin, roll each color between two sheets of waxed paper to a rectangle about 8 inches long by 5 inches wide.
- Place the white sheet of dough on the red dough. Lightly run a rolling pin on the stacked sheets of dough. Roll the stacked sheets of dough tightly on the long side to form a cookie dough log.
- Wrap the cookie dough log in plastic wrap and chill for about 10 minutes. Roll on the counter top to make the cookies as round as possible. Freeze the cookie dough log.
- When ready to bake, slice the dough to about ¼-inch thickness for each cookie.
- Use the remaining cookie dough to shape candy canes. Take about 1 tablespoon from each color dough. Roll into strips about 5” inches long, or however long you want to make your candy cane. Use a little more than 1 tablespoon of dough if you want longer candy canes. Tip: make the strips as thin as possible so the candy canes retain their shape when baked.
- Place each strip side by side and flatten them slightly. Start twisting both strips of dough together. When you reach midway, start twisting on the opposite end.
- Form a hook on one end of the twisted cookie dough to form a candy cane. Coat in a plate of granulated sugar.
- Bake cookies in an oven preheated to 325°F for 20 minutes.
24 candy cane cookies averaging 5 inches in length
24 mini pinwheel cookies about 2 inches in diameter
Mini Pinwheel Candy Cane Butter Cookies