Candy Cane Pinwheels

These buttery cookies with a peppermint swirl are easy to make and a hit with kids of all ages. Featuring the flavors of a candy cane in one pretty little cookie. The dough is swirled together and placed in the refrigerator before baking. This is especially great this time of year when you get those unexpected house guests- you can wow them with some fresh from the oven cookies in no time flat. When adding the food coloring to the dough, add one drop at a time until you get the desired color. You can always add more if you want really bright red cookies. Rolling the dough sandwiched between sheets of parchment paper makes clean up a breeze and ensures that the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin. :)

One Year Ago: Gingerbread Cupcakes 

Candy Cane Pinwheels

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  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup finely ground peppermint candies (about 20)
  • 6 drops red food coloring


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until dough forms. Remove half of the dough from bowl and reserve. Add peppermint extract, candy, and food coloring to remaining dough and mix until combined.
  3. Place the peppermint dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll into 14 by 8-inch rectangle, chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with reserved plain dough. Once both layers of dough have been chilled, place the peppermint dough on top of the plain dough, pressing to adhere. With the long side facing you, roll the dough into a log. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice cookies into ¼-inch rounds and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Bake until edges are just golden, 12 to 14 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cool 10 minutes on sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Yields: 4 1/2 dozen
Prep Time: 2 hours 35 minutes (including chilling time)
Bake Time: 14 minutes

Source: America’s test Kitchen Holiday Cookies 2010

10 Responses to “Candy Cane Pinwheels”

  1. #
    Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide — December 16, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    You must have the most colorful buffet

  2. #
    Michael Ann Riley — December 16, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    This looks like a great cookie. I have tried something like this before and they looked nice but the taste wasn’t all that special. How would you rate the flavor?

  3. #
    Just A Smidgen — December 16, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    These are so pretty and cheerful for a cookie platter:) Love them!!

    • Just A Smidgen replied: — December 16th, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

      Oh… and I love that you added peppermint (my favorite!) xo Smidge Now I’m craving one…

  4. #
    Jennifer — December 16, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

    Yummy! These look very nice!

  5. #
    ChgoJohn — December 17, 2011 @ 7:56 am

    I know a couple little boys who are going to eat these up! They cannot get enough candy canes and these are right up their alley.

  6. #
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño — December 17, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    These sound delicious and they are so festive, perfect for a cookie swap. Baking starts on Tuesday and these will definitely be on my list.

  7. #
    Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} — December 18, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    i’m in love with anything candy cane and your pinwheels look amazing!
    Happy Holidays!

  8. #
    joy — December 22, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    The cookies look great. Happy Holidays.

  9. #
    Molly @ Toffee Bits and Chocolate Chips — December 23, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    oh how cute! Merry Christmas. Such a great make ahead and freeze till you need it cookie!

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