Day 2 of the Free Press's 21 Days of Holiday Cookies features Peppermint Pinwheels. We will be publishing one cookie recipe every day -- Monday to Saturday -- till Christmas.
Diane Unger from Springfield writes that Christmas baking was always a family affair for her and her siblings when they were growing up. From her late mother's collection, Diane sends in a recipe for pinwheel cookies, which look wonderful on a cookie tray and are a handy standby -- the dough can be kept in the freezer and then baked when needed. (Just take the dough out of the freezer and let sit 30 minutes before cutting.)
500 ml (2 cups) sifted all-purpose flour
2 ml (1/2 tsp.) baking powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp.) salt
171 g (3/4 cup) butter, softened
175 ml (3/4 cup) sugar
1 egg yolk
5 ml (1 tsp.) vanilla
2 ml (1/2 tsp.) peppermint extract
Few drops red food colouring
Crushed candy canes, optional
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture in three parts, blending after each addition, to make a soft dough. Divide dough into two parts. Into one part add peppermint extract and food colouring and knead through until mixed. Roll out each portion of dough, between sheets of wax paper, to a rectangle 40x25 cm (16x10 inch). Remove top sheet off plain dough, and taking a sheet off the pink dough, place the pink layer on top of the plain. Remove wax paper from top of pink dough, and then tightly roll up two layers, lengthwise like a jelly roll. Wrap in wax paper and chill several hours.
Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Unwrap dough log, cut into .5 cm (1/4 in.) slices, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, if desired. Bake for about 10 minutes or until firm but not brown. Cool on wire rack.
Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.