Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies: The perfect recipe for your holiday cookie plate

Southern Kitchen
Chocolate Pinwheel cookies

This is part of Southern Kitchen's 12 Days of Cookies and Cocktails series, which runs daily through Christmas Eve. Each day, we'll pair fun and festive cocktails with classic cookie recipes.

The sweet and simple Chocolate Pinwheels complement this rich Two Boil Flip.

About the recipe

The perfect holiday cookie plate needs a few things to sing, including a variety of appealing textures, visual appeal and classic flavor. These cookies stand out for their timeless appeal, striking but simple appearance and, of course, delicious flavor.

This cookie recipe is reprinted with permission from American Cookie: The Snaps, Drops, Jumbles, Tea Cakes, Bars & Brownies That We Have Loved for Generations, copyright 2018 by Anne Byrn. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.

Serves: Makes 5 to 6 dozen

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate


Place the soft butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until combined, 30 to 45 seconds.

Stir together the flour and salt in a small bowl. Dump the flour mixture in the bowl with the butter and sugar mixture. Beat on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl once with a rubber spatula, until all the flour is incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

Chop the chocolate and place in a small glass bowl. Heat in the microwave oven on high power for 1 minute, stirring at intervals, until melted. Let cool.

Tear off four sheets of waxed or parchment paper, each about 15 inches long. Divide the dough in half. Place one half onto one sheet of waxed paper and press with your fingertips into a rectangle. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, or freeze for 1 hour. Pour the melted chocolate into the bowl with the second half of the dough. Beat with the electric mixer on medium speed to combine, 1 minute. Wrap the paper around the chocolate dough and chill 2 to 3 hours, or freeze for 1 hour, until firm.

Remove the plain dough from the refrigerator or freezer, and with floured hands, place the dough onto a floured work surface (or roll it between the sheets of the waxed paper). Roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Carefully place the chocolate dough on top of the white, and roll the doughs up into a jelly roll, beginning with the longer side. Wrap the roll in the waxed paper, and place it in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the freezer, and slice the dough into 1/4-inch rounds. Arrange them 1 to 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cookies until they are just firm and begin to brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and transfer the cookies immediately to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Store the cookies in a tightly covered container for up to 1 week.