These chocolate and vanilla spiral cookies look impressive, but are incredibly easy to make. Slice and bake cookies can be prepared in advance, then baked whenever a cookie craving hits!
Spiral cookies, pinwheel cookies, swirl cookies — whatever you call them, I'll gladly eat a few!
These cookies look impressive thanks to the colorful green swirl running through them, but they're actually quite easy to make. This is a slice and bake cookie recipe, so all you have to do is roll out two colors of cookie dough, sandwich them together, roll them up, and slice away!
Even better, the cookie dough base used for this recipe is actually white. I made the swirl green in honor of St. Patrick's Day, but it does double duty come Christmastime as well.
Or, make the swirl a different color to suit any holiday you'd like!
I've also given instructions on how to make chocolate pinwheel cookies rather than vanilla, if you want to customize the flavor and the color!
These multicolored slice and bake cookies are made with a single cookie dough base that's divided in half and colored with green gel food coloring.
The cookies are made with the usual mixture of butter, sugar, flour, egg, and salt. A little milk also helps to create soft, buttery cookies.
For added flavor, I used vanilla extract and almond extract in the pinwheel cookies.
To hold together the green cookie dough layer and the white cookie dough layer, I brushed a little beaten egg white between the two before rolling them up. Clever, eh?
Tip: If you're making these green cookies for St. Patrick's Day, check out my Irish Shamrock Cookies while you're here as well!
How to Make Slice and Bake Spiral Cookies
I'm going to walk you through how the vanilla version of these cookies are made, but you can also make chocolate spiral cookies using this same cookie dough base! (More on that in a moment.)
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in the whole egg and salt.
- Stir in milk and extracts.
- Add the flour a little at a time, beating until incorporated.
- Divide dough in half. Add food coloring to one half of the dough and mix to achieve desired green color.
- Wrap white and green dough separately in plastic wrap, pat into rectangles, and chill until cold.
- On a sheet of floured parchment, roll out the white dough to just under ¼-inch thickness. Repeat with green dough on another sheet of floured parchment.
- Chill again until the rolled out dough is cold, about 20 minutes.
- Brush the white dough with a beaten egg white and place the green dough on top.
- Using the bottom sheet of parchment paper to help lift the dough, roll it into a log starting at one wide end.
- Seal the seam by brushing with egg white and pinching closed.
- Roll the cookie dough log tightly in parchment and chill for about 1 hour.
- Once chilled, slice the log into ¼-inch rounds.
- Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until done.
How to Make Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies
As written, this recipe makes white and green spiral cookies. To make the chocolate version, simply add 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa to the white half of the dough.
Let me know how it went!
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Customizing These Cookies for the Holidays
As I previously mentioned, the base cookie dough is white so you can color one half of the dough any color you'd like to suit whatever holiday it is that you're celebrating.
Here are a few holiday color pairings you can try with this base recipe:
- Valentine's Day: Pink or red swirl
- St. Patrick's Day: Green swirl (as written)
- Easter: Purple, pink, orange, or yellow (anything pastel)
- Halloween: Orange or black
- Christmas: Green (as written) or red
Tip: To make pinwheel slice and bake Christmas cookies, you could color one half of the dough red and the other half green to make extra festive cookies!
Tips for Making Spiral Cookies
If you plan on making chocolate pinwheel cookies, the easiest way to do so is to make a second batch of cookie dough (or just make the one batch and keep it all chocolate).
I don’t suggest dividing the dough of one batch into quarters to make half a green and white batch and half a green and brown (chocolate) batch.
So, with that being said, you can use this recipe to make EITHER white and green or chocolate and green spirals.
Cookie Classics To Try:
- Stovetop Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Award Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coconut Macaroons with Condensed Milk
- Graham Crackers and Frosting
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Iced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Slice and Bake Spiral Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- ¾ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- Green Food Coloring
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (OPTIONAL)
- In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in the whole egg and salt. Stir in milk and extracts. Add flour a little at a time, beating until incorporated.
- Divide dough in half. Add food coloring to one half of the dough and mix to achieve desired green color. Wrap white and green dough separately in plastic wrap, pat into a rectangle and chill until cold, at least 1 hour.
- On a sheet of floured parchment, roll out white dough to just under ¼-inch thickness. Repeat with green dough on another sheet of floured parchment. Chill again until roll dough is cold, about 20 minutes.
- Brush white dough with beaten egg white and place green dough on top, removing parchment. Using bottom sheet of parchment to help lift dough, roll into a log starting at one wide end. Seal the seam by brushing with egg white and pinching closed. roll log tightly in parchment and chill about 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350ºF. Slice log into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake 16 to 18 minutes until done but not browned. Let cool and enjoy!
Tasty cookie recipes!
About Tara Teaspoon
I’ve been in the food publishing business for over 20 years, creating recipes & food-styling for magazines, books, television & advertising. Order my new cookbook & stick around for amazing things to eat.
Recipe and food styling Tara Teaspoon. Photography Peter Ardito. Originally published LHJ Mar11
Wow! I made these for St Patrick’s day this year and everyone LOVED them! So easy but so impressive! Thanks, Tara Teaspoon!
These are the best year round but especially fun around St. Patrick's Day! Had to restrain myself from eating the whole batch...not joking. THANK YOU!