Christmas Cookie #1: Nutella Pinwheels

Doesn’t that just sound like an awesome name for cookies?

I’m pretty sure adding Nutella to anything can make it delicious, so that’s what inspired me to try out this recipe last week. Holiday baking season has officially begun in our house, and so consider this the first (well besides these) of many recipes to come as I’m currently up to my elbows in flour making Christmas cookies and other sweets this week. Baking is a passion of mine, so I love that the holidays give me an excuse to go crazy with my Kitchen-Aid mixer. There are a few cookie recipes that are my standards each year (M&M cookies, sugar cookie cutouts, peanut butter blossoms), but I also like mixing it up and trying different things so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes come December. 
This recipe caught my eye on foodgawker primarily because of the name, but also because I think that rolled pinwheel cookies like this look really pretty. The recipe comes from The Galley Gourmet, and it did turn out a little bit different than I expected and so I have a few recommendations. I don’t know why, but I was expecting a chewy cookie, but the end result was much more crunchy, similar to a biscotti. Don’t get me wrong, the flavor is great and these cookies are the perfect compliment to a cup of coffee, they were just different than I expected. 

The recipe says to chill the dough for a half hour before rolling out; I left mine in the fridge for a little bit longer than that and the dough was fairly difficult to roll out. It was also rather brittle and difficult to roll into the pinwheel, so I’d consider reducing the flour a bit to make it more malleable and then I would make sure not to chill the dough for too long before you roll it out. I also didn’t measure out the Nutella, I just slathered it on thick which is probably why my Nutella swirls are a little bit bigger than in the photo from the original recipe (not that I’m complaining). The recipe makes two generous rolls which are perfect for storing in your freezer and slicing up later (or making and eating right away, whatever). I think they’d be great for a cookie exchange because they’re different than your traditional Christmas cookie and honestly, who doesn’t love Nutella?
Nutella Pinwheel Cookies
makes 4 dozen

8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large egg yolks
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/2 cup Nutella, divided

In a small, bowl stir together the flour and salt.  Set

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and
sugar, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix until
combined. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture. Mix until it forms a soft dough. Transfer the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Shape in to a square and divide it in half. Transfer each half to a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Unwrap one half of the dough and place on a piece of
lightly floured parchment paper.  Cover with a sheet plastic wrap and
roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness, about 10″x8″ rectangle.

Remove the plastic wrap.  Using an off-set spatula,
 spread half (1/4 cup) Nutella on to the dough leaving a 1/4-inch edge
all around.    Using the parchment as a guide, roll the dough starting
from the longest side, in to a tight log.  Wrap the parchment around the
log and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.
 Repeat with the remaining half.

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.  Line a baking sheet with
parchment paper. Unwrap the log and slice into approximately 1/3-inch slices. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet 1-2″ apart (I can fit 15 cookies on a 12×15-inch baking sheet). 

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for 1 week. Enjoy! 
* An unbaked cookie log can be made ahead of time,
wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in a freezer bag for 2 weeks.
Increase baking time by 3-5 minutes if slicing and baking frozen


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