These Pinwheel Cranberry Cookies are great Holiday treats but also perfect all-year round as long as fresh cranberries are available. They are very easy to prepare and logs of dough can be stored in the freezer and baked when the need arises. Here is an easy dessert recipe for Pinwheel Cranberry Cookies.
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk (or cream)
1/2 cup ground fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc)
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
pinch of nutmeg
Make the dough by beating together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl using an electric mixer or a wire whisk. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt. You will end up with a thick dough.
Roll the dough into a flattened ball, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by simply mixing together the ground cranberries, nuts, orange peel and nutmeg. Set aside.
Combine the brown sugar and milk (or cream) to create a thick paste.
Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a roughly 10"x10" square that is about 1/4" thick.
Spread the brown sugar paste evenly on top of the dough with a 1/2"-3/4" margin on two sides. Then, spread the cranberry-nut mixture evenly over the sugared dough. The margins on the side will prevent the filling from spilling out when you roll the dough.
Roll the dough into a cylinder, making sure that you roll firmly and evenly until you reached the other end. Use gentle pressure to seal the end of the dough into the roll. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and freeze.
To make the cookies, use a sharp knife to slice the still-frozen dough log into 1/4" thick pieces.
Lay the cookie slices on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes until the edges are just golden brown.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store these Pinwheel Cranberry Cookies in an air-tight container.