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Chicago Pinwheel Cookies

Vanilla chocolate spiral cookies on a cooling rack

You can roll your spiral loose or tight, depending on the look you're going for. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

Alissa Weiss worked at a bakery in Chicago that recreated this recipe from famous cookie maker, Maurice Lenell once they went out of business. They are traditionally coated in pink and red sprinkles, but you could use turbinado sugar if you like.

Alissa shared these fancy cookies at a cookie baking workshop with kids at Mother Hubbard's Cupboard. They are not as difficult as they appear. You mix one dough, then divide it in half and add melted chocolate to one half. Making the spiral is fun, and the results are spectacular!

Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

From Bunsen Burner Bakery


3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter

1 1/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

red and pink colored sugar, or turbinado sugar

1 egg white


Sift together flour baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in sugar and beat an additional 2 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, followed by the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. 

Divide the dough in half. Form half of the dough into a flat square, wrap in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge. 

Return half of the dough to the mixer. Using a double boiler or microwave on low power, melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Add to dough and mix. Wrap flattened chocolate dough in plastic wrap and stick in the fridge. chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Remove dough from the fridge and place the vanilla dough over the chocolate. Gently press the dough together with a rolling pin until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. 

Roll the dough into a log, wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Remove the log from the fridge, coat in egg white, roll in sugar, slice into 1/4 inch slices and bake for 9-11 minutes. 

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