With the 4th of July coming up, I decided to make a few festive recipes. Unfortunately, these spiral cookies won’t make it till July 4th. Out of the couple dozen cookies that I made, we only have 5 left and I’m sure those will disappear soon too.
I don’t make sweets often, but I’m usually a simple chocolate chip cookie kind of girl. They aren’t too sweet and I can usually convince myself that the dark chocolate is somehow healthy for me.
I can’t tell you the last time I even made icebox cookies. What are icebox cookies, you ask? Also known as refrigerator cookies, icebox cookies are made from a stiff dough that is firmed up in the fridge. The dough is usually rolled into a log and sliced to make round cookies before baking.
By adding food coloring to the dough, you can create pinwheel icebox cookies. I added blue and red food coloring for these 4th of July cookies, but you can use other colors for different holidays. My grandmother used red and green to create Christmas pinwheel cookies.
Just a little warning: red food coloring is bit finicky. Add too little and the cookies will look pink. Add to much and you might be able to taste it. I’ve had much better luck with red food coloring in a soft gel or paste form.
If you have leftover pieces of dough, just press the colors together to make tied-died icebox cookies (shown above). Roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter to punch out the cookies.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1⅓ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- blue and red food coloring (liquid or paste)
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened butter. Stir with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. While stirring slowly, add the eggs one at a time. Once combined, add the flour mixture a cup at a time. Stir until just combined.
- Divide the cookie dough into thirds using a kitchen scale (each portion will weigh about 350 grams). Flatten one portion into a square about ½ inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator. Place the second portion back into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the blue food coloring while stirring slowly with the paddle attachment. Once the desired shade of blue color has been achieved, form the blue cookie dough into a square ½ inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator. Repeat with remaining piece of dough, but add red food coloring instead. Refrigerate the three squares of cookie dough for 30 minutes, until firm.
- Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and cut each square in half. Set one rectangle of each color aside. Flatten each rectangle to ⅛th of an inch thick. Stack the rectangles on top of each other (red on bottom, white in the middle, and blue on top). Using a rolling pin, lightly press the layers together. Then, carefully roll the layers into a log, as tight as possible. It is important to avoid any air pockets. Wrap the log with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for 5 hours. Repeat with the remaining three rectangles. For the first few hours, remove the logs from the refrigerator every hour and roll against the countertop to ensure that they are perfectly round.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove one log from the refrigerator and slice into rounds about ¼ inch thick. Place the disks on the parchment paper about 1½ inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the white layer is a light golden color. Cool on a wire rack and repeat with remaining log.