Each December, my mom and I embark on what I have coined a Christmas cookie marathon (instead of 26 miles, think 26 types of cookies). Our non-stop baking day results in a lengthy list of cookies, which includes some of our winter classics — snickerdoodles, whoopie pies, and molasses – along with a handful or two new experiments. When the stand mixer has reached its limit and our hands are aching from scooping dough, we assemble the cookies, bars, and toffees on platters for our neighbors, family, and friends to enjoy throughout the holidays. We include a cookie guide with each platter so a ginger hater doesn’t mistakenly reach for the rosemary ginger squares.
As a kid, one of the first cookies I was trusted with was the Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookie. It is a sugar cookie base swirled with cinnamon and brown sugar, a simple and elegant combination. While we make them at Christmas, these are fitting for any time of year and I am pretty sure they are breakfast appropriate. Try to be patient enough to chill the dough until it is very firm before you cut it. This will ensure you get circular cookies.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (or more if you are extra fond of cinnamon)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 3/4 cup granulated sugar until smooth. Add the egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated (the dough will be stiff).
- On a floured surface, separate the dough into two piles and roll each into 8 x 12 inch rectangles. Use a knife to even the edges so they are clean when you roll the dough in step 6.
- In a small bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup granulate sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar and the cinnamon for the cinnamon sugar filling. Sprinkle generously on each rectangle of dough.
- Starting from a short side, roll each rectangle into a log. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours.
- When the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough logs ¼ inch thick and bake on sheets until just beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.