Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies
Chocolate pinwheel cookies are as soft and delicious as they are fun to make. Stand out in a boring sea of chocolate chip cookies with these stunning beauties!
I’m excited to once again participate in The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange, a cookie-based fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Just like last year, we’re helping to raise funds for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for research to develop new, improved, and less toxic treatments for pediatric cancer.
For a little refresher, CLICK HERE to learn a little more about the organization, my own research background in pediatric cancer, and why you should consider donating to this great charity! (And there’s a really great chewy chocolate mint cookie recipe on the other side of that link too, in case you need a little extra motivation to click.)
This year, rather than share a brand new recipe, I’m giving a little revamp to an old recipe. My absolute most favorite cookies ever are my grandmother’s pinwheel cookies. They are the perfect combination of delicious, fun to make, and unique enough to stand out in a sea of chocolate chip cookies recipes. And for me, they are full of wonderful nostalgic, childhood memories.
I first shared this recipe back in 2012, and I’ve had a lot of requests for step-by-step photos since then. It was high time to give my favorite cookies the attention they deserve!
How to Make Pinwheel Cookies
Pinwheel cookies are one of those recipes that seems a lot harder than it really is — in reality, these are pretty darn easy. The dough is mixed together in a mixer, like any standard cookie dough. Once it comes together, split the dough in half and add melted chocolate to one half. Then refrigerate.
The key to getting good, defined pinwheel swirls is always working with cold dough. We’ll chill three times in this recipe:
- Chill the dough after mixing together. Form into rectangles, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Chill the dough again after rolling up into a pinwheel. This helps the dough keep its round shape — don’t forget to roll it a few times to ensure the bottom doesn’t flatten!
- Freeze the dough before slicing. This ensures the dough will slice well without squishing.
Because there’s so much chilling involved, these are perfect cookies to break up and make over several days (or weeks – or months!). The dough can be refrigerated at each step for quite a while, and the final rolled dough can even be frozen for months. I’ve been known to keep a few rolls of these in my freezer at all times, just in case the cookie bug strikes!
How to Roll Pinwheel Cookies (Step-By-Step Photos)
I think the process of rolling up the pinwheel cookies can be a little intimidating for some people. Fret not: it’s easy! And here’s some step-by-step photo instructions, because a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
- Roll out the chocolate and vanilla dough separately, into a rectangular-ish shape roughly the same size. Stack the dough on top of each other (it does not matter which flavor is on top).
- Use a knife to cut the dough into a rectangle, roughly 6 inches by 7 inches.
- Lift the long edge of the dough up from the counter using a bench scraper or spatula.
- Start to roll the dough away from you, carefully rolling both sides of the dough.
- Roll the whole way and press the edge down to seal.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator.
Pinwheel Cookie Variations
I always like mine as chocolate and vanilla swirls, just the way my grandmother made them. But you can use this dough rolling technique to make any combination of colors or flavors!
Stick with just vanilla dough and a little food coloring for some festive cookies (red and green for Christmas, red and blue for 4th of July, etc).
Paint a thin layer of fruit jam on top of the dough before rolling for a jam-filled pinwheel. Maybe some orange zest in the dough and cranberry jam? Or how about adding coconut extract and flakes of coconut to the vanilla dough? Or if you’re like me and love lemon desserts, maybe a layer of lemon curd? The possibilities are endless!
A little soft in the middle. A little crispy along the edges. Chocolate and vanilla, rolled into one. Pretty to look at, delicious to eat. A lifetime of memories rolled up into perfect chocolate pinwheel cookies.
More Cookie Recipes:
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Black and White Cookies
- Toffee Crunch Cookies
- Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- All Cookie Recipes »
A Bunsen Burner Bakery Family Recipe As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information: Yield: 24 Serving Size: 2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191 Total Fat: 9.5g Carbohydrates: 24g Protein: 2.5g
A Bunsen Burner Bakery Family Recipe
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.