12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Festive Pinwheels


pinwheel cookies

On the tenth day of Christmas,

My true love sent to me

Ten festive pinwheels

Nine shortbread cookies,

Eight gingerbread people,

Seven layer cookies,

Six Snickerdoodles,

Five Sugar Cookies,

Four Viennese Crescents,

Three Candy Cane cookies,

Two Toffee Squares,

And a cookie shaped like a Christmas tree.

These festive pinwheel cookies can be made in any color combinations you’d like – red and white, green and white, green and red, red and turquoise. These are a kid favorite to make and of course, to eat.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon food coloring (red, green, turquoise – whichever colors you’d like)
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
  • 3 tablespoons milk


  1. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together in another large bowl. Add egg, vanilla, milk, and peppermint extract, and beat until incorporated.
  3. Gradually add the dry mixture, beating until combined.
  4. Remove half of the mixture from the bowl. Add food coloring, beating until fully combined. You may have to knead the colored dough a bit to spread the color evenly.
  5. On a sheet of parchment paper, roll out dough to form a large rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat this step with the other half of dough. Note: You can leave one half of the dough uncolored, or color half red and half green, or any color combination you’d like.
  6. Place the red dough on top of the white dough and slide the parchment paper out. Trim edges if uneven and patch if necessary. Roll dough into a log, creating a swirl effect. Note: Don’t worry if the dough starts to tear a little when you are rolling it. This is normal. Just press any tears together with your fingers as you go along.
  7. Put a generous amount of sprinkles (white nonpareils look great, but any sprinkles will do) in a shallow dish and roll the cookie dough log firmly over the sprinkles until they stick and the log is covered. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place the dough back in the refrigerator.
  8. Chill for 2 hours.
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  10. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch slices and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 1-inch apart.
  11. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how thick you sliced the cookies.

Variations: These cookies can be made without the peppermint extract, or almond extract can be substituted.



Red nonpareils

Green nonpareils

Red, green, and white nonpareils, mixed

Recipe adapted from The Shine Project

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 22nd, 2014
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