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« Christmas Sugar Cookies | Main | Honey Cookies »

Peppermint Pinwheels & Giveaway!

Peppermint Pinwheels

This year I decided to participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen. The idea is simple—make three dozen homemade cookies and mail them to three lucky bloggers, Secret Santa style. A few days later, I would find my own mailbox filled with boxes of homemade cookies. And the best part? I could enjoy them knowing someone out there made them especially for me.

When I first heard about this exchange back in October, I was immediately sold. How fun was this idea? Not only do I love sharing my baked goods with others, but I love getting packages in the mail. It was absolutely a win-win situation for me.

Peppermint Pinwheels

But, as the days ticked by, I struggled to come up with an idea for a cookie. I went to the library and picked up half a dozen cookbooks just on the subject of cookies. I flipped through each and every one, feeling more and more uninspired as I turned the pages. Even Martha Stewart, the goddess of all things sweet, couldn't spark my creative interest. As the weeks flew by and I found myself swallowed in work, original cookie ideas were simply lost to the wind.

When the date of the cookie swap finally loomed overhead, the month and a half I had to come up with a fun cookie idea was reduced to all of 10 minutes and restricted to the ingredients already in my kitchen. Out of this exigence, the idea for these Peppermint Pinwheels was born. While the idea may not be original, it doesn't make the pinwheel sandwiches any less fun (or delicious).

After baking and individually packaging each cookie for a safe journey across the country, I wished my cookies well on their journey, hoping the mouths to receive them would enjoy them as much as I did.

Peppermint Pinwheels Peppermint Pinwheels Peppermint Pinwheels

Inspired by the idea of a cookie exchange, I thought it would be fun to send out a dozen cookies to you. Yes, you! And so three of you lucky readers will find a box of handmade cookies sitting in your mailbox in the next week. I love getting mail and, when it just so happens to be edible mail, it just makes it that much more fun. I want to share in the season of giving with you!

To find a box of cookies on your doorstep...
1. Leave a comment below and tell me about your favorite holiday cookies. Make sure to include your email address when filling out the comment form so I can get ahold of you!
2. You must live in the United States or Canada. I unfortunately cannot afford to send cookies further away (and I fear they may arrive shattered after such a long journey).
3. The contest will end on Wednesday, December 14th at 10 pm (cst) and the winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Facebook and Twitter immediately thereafter (and on here Thursday morning).

Good luck!

Edit: The contest is closed and the winners have been chosen.

Peppermint Pinwheels

Peppermint Pinwheels are bold and colorful holiday cookies. Featuring vanilla sugar cookies and peppermint buttercream frosting, the cookies have no shortage of flavor. The cookie sandwiches are surprisingly soft, making it difficult to eat just one. While pinwheel cookies may appear intimidating, just note that, if you can roll out dough for cut-out cookies, there is no reason you couldn't whip up a batch of these since the same concepts apply. Do not skimp on refrigerator time and these cookies should turn out just as beautiful for you!

One Year Ago: Pear Chips and Candy Striped Meringues

Peppermint Pinwheels

Yields about 2 dozen cookie sandwiches

Vanilla Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Red gel food coloring, as needed

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until well combined.

Remove 1/2 of the dough and add red food coloring to the remaining dough, beating until well mixed. Gel food color will work best, dying the dough to a deep red. Water based food colors will most likely leave you with a pink dough, no matter how much coloring you add. Wrap each dough separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a half hour to an hour to firm up the dough.

Roll out one color of dough to 1/4-inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured non-stick baking mat or wax paper. Roll out the second color of dough to 1/4-inch thick rectangle of the same size on a lightly floured surface. Place the second rectangle on top of the first and trim the edges until even. Using the mat or wax paper, roll the dough into a log. Secure with rubber bands and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours to firm up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for best cookie removal.

Remove rubber bands from cookie log and place on a lightly floured surface. Cut cookies to 1/8-inch thick and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes; do not allow the edges to brown. Cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.

Peppermint Frosting
8 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and continue beating on low until combined. Mix in peppermint extract, heavy cream, and salt. If frosting is too thick, add an additional teaspoon or two of heavy cream to smooth it out. If frosting is too thin, add additional cup of powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.

Using a pastry bag (or plastic bag with the corner cut out), pipe peppermint buttercream onto the bottom of a pinwheel cookie and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat this using all pinwheel cookies. Let buttercream dry before storing cookies in an airtight container.

Reader Comments (143)

So fun! :)
Love the images, I may try making these for typical family Christmas eve get-together. By the way the 15th is on Thursday.
I cannot decide between two cookies; a simple basic sugar cookie or snicker-doodles. Either way its a win win situation for me, in fact I think I love most Christmas cookies and candy.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMechelle
Sometime in the seventies my mother bought a set of number cookie cutters, 0 through 9. On the back of the package were two recipes, one for gingerbread cookies and one for sugar cookies. To this day, we still use those two recipes for our annual holiday baking. They are basic, but they are also the best ever!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrista
I wish I lived in the States purely so I could be in with a chance of receiving these gorgeous cookies. They're so festive and beautifully swirled. Your photos are stunning too, as always :-)
12.12.2011 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
LOVE your blog and this idea.... think I'll try this recipe next weekend!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaige McEachren
I love most holiday cookies! Especially ones w/ a hint of peppermint flavoring.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMandy L.
Love your blog, and your photos are always stunning. My favorite Christmas cookie of all time has got to be butterscotch balls. This is an old family recipe from my Aunt Mary. I have no idea where she got it, but since I was little we have had them for Christmas, now I carry on making them every year. they are a brown sugar and buttery concoction with a candied cherry piece on top.

I am going to try your honey crisps and these this year.

12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
KRISTIN!!!! I miss you and your cookies! Can't wait to come home for Christmas and see you! I wanna win these cookies too because I miss you baking all sorts of delicious goodness on those long hard nights of physics that we may or may not have spent eating sweets and ordering pizza and napping and then finally doing physics!! If I win you can mail them to my parents house and I'll even share them with you when you visit me if I must :) And I may also share my mommy's delicious sugar cookies that are a childhood favorite of mine. There is just something about a frosted sugar cookie that screams Christmas. Hope you're well and can't wait to see you!!! xoxoxo
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
My favorite cookies are the old stand by, chocolate chip :-) Especially when they are all warm and gooey fresh out of the oven. Living in ND makes you appreciate things that make you feel warm in the winter, lol.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Those look awesome! I do love peppermint cream. My favorite family Christmas cookie is really simple and plain - scottish shortbread. Just a simple cookie coated in powdered sugar. Yum! And my grandma would always freeze some of them so we could eat them all year long. There is something special to me about frozen Christmas cookies in August.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi
Hi. My favorite holiday cookie is a pumpkin pie truffle!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDalia
My favorite holiday cookies are pecan balls or "snowballs" as they're known in my house :-)
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
My favorite would probably have to be chocolate peppermint cookies, complete with peppermint crumbles on top!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSophie F
i am all about the supremely soft gingerbread man. yeah, that sounds wrong... but it's sooo right.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered Commentersofia
I'm just starting to make christmas cookies for all our get-togethers that start next week (we have six!!). It would be a treat to actually get some cookies in the mail, and these look so fun! I might just make them anyway.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
Every year the request is the kids want Gingerbread Cookies. When the smell wafts from the oven, they say, "Now it's Christmas!" Our newest tradition is homemade marshmallows and cinnamon graham crackers for our S'more cookie gift packages for family and friends.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGloria
My mom and I make these chocolate cookies every year at Christmas time (though I wish we had them everyday!) They're called zebra cookies, because its chocolate dough rolled in icing sugar, and they crack and split a little bit when they cook. We actually made them last night :P Making them with my mom is a fun experience and kind of a tradition for us.They are my absolute favourite cookies! PS i absolutely love your blog! I made your Devil's food cake, oh my goodness, pure deliciousness!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
I think my favorite Holiday cookies would have to be Russian tea cakes (sometimes called Mexican Wedding cookies). Basically any buttery dough studded with pecans or walnuts and then rolled in obscene amounts of powdered sugar! YUM! Hope I win this one! Happy Holidays!!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTara
These look so amazing! My favorite holiday cookie to make and eat is gingerbread cookies! I just adore them.(=
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber
Mint Chocolate Chip are my fav cookie for the holidays.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaan
My mom's molasses ginger cookies. They're amazing!!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily H.
I love Key Lime cookies. It's just not Christmas without them.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura3+2
These are absolutely beautiful!
Very festive looking cookies!!! Do you pipe the frosting just around the outer edge or all over the cookie?

I can hardly wait for Christmas time to roll around to make our reindeer cookies using a good homemade heart-shaped sugar cookie, pneuche frosting, m&m candies and pretzles. Ohhhh, so gooood with the sweet and salty combination!!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Well, Kristin, your contest has motivated me to write my first comment on your blog. I've been following your blog for a few months now, and your writing is so inspirational! I've just HAD to try at least half of the recipes you have posted, and they are all as delicious as you make them look and sound. I especially enjoyed the cranberry tarts. Thanks for sharing!

By the way, I'm so happy for you. It sounds like you truly enjoy the new path you are taking in life.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristie
these cookies look delicious (and a timely recipe, as i have a cookie exchange tomorrow! i think i just might try these out today!) i tend to love shortbread (dipped in chocolate), molasses cookies, and last year i made some red velvet whoopie pies that were so yummy and looked quite festive!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKimber-Leigh
I love the idea of a cookie exchange by mail! How sweet is that!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate Hayden
chocolate ginger snaps!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMb
Your cookies are so pretty! My favorite holiday cookies are Peanut Butter Blossoms (Hershey Kiss cookies).
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLynda M.
Our families favorite Christmas cookies are a chocolate almond butter cookie that came from a Land O Lakes add many years ago. They can be shaped into anything you like and glazed or sprinkled with powdered sugar.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMamabird
My favorite Christmas cookie is one that my grandmother makes every year, spritz. They are so light and airy and remind of my of the holidays every time I have one. I am so excited to try this recipe for the holidays!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha
I love this! I am going to try these for a cookie exchange tomorrow!!! I love all Christmas cookies but especially original sugar cookies with powdered sugar icing!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Your Honey Cookies are our favorite holiday cookies. We made them for a cookie exchange yesterday. NOM. NOM. NOM.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGottaRun
These are so pretty!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
These cookies sound very yummy! My favorite cookie is my mom's snickerdoodle. She only makes them at christmas time so that's what I associate with them. Thanks for this giveaway! It's very kind of you.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeanna
Oh well if these aren't just plain adorable, I don't know what is.

My favorite holiday cookies are a kind of toffee cookie that my mother has perfected. Let me just say: graham cracker bits, chocolate, chopped pecans... Pure sugary buttery heaven :]
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmmy
My favorite holiday cookies are what I've been told are called "Pinwheels," though I don't think that's universal. They are the most wonderful chocolately chewy goodness, and there's a crackle pattern of powdered sugar all over them. Usually, they're not completely baked through, which makes them all the better. Oh my, I'm salivating now.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracie B.
Oatmeal, white chocolate and cranberry cookies. Yum!!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered Commentermegan
These look wonderful! I love sandwich cookies.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Always look forward to my grandmother's cookie try at the holidays! It contains ALL the holiday cookies I love, but my favorites are her ginger snaps and her 7 layer bars. Ahhh can't wait!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoanna
these cookies look fabulous! my favorite holiday cookies always involve pumpkin and spices!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren W.
My favorite holiday cookie is spritz. I make one recipe in a variety of shapes and it's so easy to make an attractive cookie plate in no time!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Wow, what a generous giveaway! And so much fun! Those peppermint cookies look absolutely amazing (and so pretty!) My fav Christmas cookies are my mom's scandanavian almond bars - it's a almond-flavored sugar cookie base with a white glaze and slivered almonds on top.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered Commentersara
My favorite holiday memories were baking Peanut Butter Blossoms with my mom. (We would put the pan on the cold snow on our porch to cool them...Thank Minnesota winters!)
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa
My favorite ANYTIME cookie is white chocolate macadamia nut cookies! It doesn't need to be a holiday for me to want them! But I do usually make them to give. :)
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJan
These look and sound amazing! My favorite holiday treat to make is chocolate almond toffee. Even though its not really a cookie, its been a family tradition for generations, and I love sharing it with my friends and family :)
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaddie
These look so fun! (And delicious)
My favorite holiday cookies are most definitely molasses cookies from a great-aunt's recipe. I used to love making them with my grandmother when I was little, and now that she doesn't bake anymore I make them every year and take some to her. There's nothing special about the recipe, but the smell of cloves and cinnamon always reminds me of being a little girl helping my grandma in the kitchen... I guess fond memories can make any recipe special.

Happy Holidays!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
Those cookies look delicious! My most favorite cookie for Christmas are butter cookies and sugar cookies. I have many wonderful memories of making them with my mother and I am creating new ones by making them with my 2 wonderful girls!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Cannon
My favorite Xmas cookie is these little mice my mom makes with almond ears and Twizzler tails. A-friggin'-dorable.
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatiS
What a fun giveaway! And gorgeous cookies, by the way, the pinwheels are so pretty. My favorite cookie is a chewy chocolate cookie that's rolled in crushed candy canes before being baked. Yum :D I can't get enough of mint this time of year!
12.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

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