These bejeweled pinwheels contain a hint of rye, which is balanced by cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and cocoa. I worked until I found a spice blend that was just right. The resulting cookies are rich and fragrant–highly appropriate for the holiday season. Making pinwheels with a darker dough also ensures that the points of the pinwheels don’t look much darker than the rest of the cookie after baking. Hands of all ages will be drawn to pick up pretty pinwheels that taste as good as their lovely aroma.
Use any fruit jam you like for the filling. I chose cherry jam because of its vibrant ruby hue, but why not make a multi-coloured assortment with orange marmalade along with raspberry and blueberry jams? There’s no need to wait until Christmas to put together an artful tray of cookies. Celebrations and cookies are meant to be enjoyed all year long.
Pinwheel Spice Cookies with Jam Filling
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark rye flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup butter, margarine, or coconut oil, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup honey (or light molasses)
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons fruit jam, such as cherry or raspberry
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Whisk together flours, salt, soda, spices, and cocoa powder.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat together butter (or equivalent) and brown sugar. Add honey and egg and beat until smooth.
- Stir dry ingredient mixture into butter-sugar mixture to form a thick dough. Chill dough for at least 45 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 degrees F). Place a sheet of waxed paper on a flat work surface and dust lightly with flour. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out dough until it is fairly thin, about 3 mm in thickness.
- To cut even squares, use a ruler and knife to make squares that measure 8cm x 8 cm each. Transfer squares to a parchment lined baking tray, spacing them at least 2 cm apart.
- Cut 4 cm diagonal slits into each corner (see photos below). Place 1/2 teaspoon fruit jam in the center of each square. Carefully fold alternating points inward over jam to form pinwheels.
- Bake pinwheel cookies in a preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until edges are crisp. Remove trays from oven and keep cookies on the tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
- Dust cookies with icing sugar before serving. Makes about 18 pinwheel cookies.