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Cinnamon Pinwheels

Now don’t you be looking at pictures of pinwheel cookies over the Internet, because they will make mine look bush-league!

My pinwheels look like I’ve never made them before, and that’s because, I haven’t.  But boy, are they good!  They became a bit squished in the making, and I couldn’t control them, and then squished again in the refrigerator.  That won’t stop me from making them again though ~ I’m intrigued and want to master the technique now.

These cinnamon pinwheels are lightly spiced with cinnamon and are a thin, crunchy cookie, close to shortbread.  Next time, I’ll go for the ½-teaspoon cinnamon extract.  I like the swirly effect and red coloring ~ even if they do look a bit psychedelic to me…

Good grief!  Not one of my better days!

Cinnamon Pinwheels


2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼-½ teaspoon cinnamon extract (optional)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (like Hershey’s)
¾ teaspoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sanding sugar (clear or red,) plus more for coating, OR sparkling sugar


Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Reduce mixer to low, add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.
Remove half of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap.
Add the cinnamon extract, cocoa powder, and food coloring to the remaining dough and beat until incorporated; wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate both pieces of dough until firm, about 1 hour.

Dust the dough with flour and roll out each piece on parchment paper into a 10-inch x 11-inch rectangle.
Flip the red dough on top of the plain dough; remove the top piece of parchment and trim the edges.
Sprinkle the ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the sanding or sparkling sugar on top.

Starting from a short end, tightly roll up the dough, using the parchment to help.
Roll the log in sanding sugar.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Slice the log crosswise ¼” thick.
Arrange the slices about 1½” apart on the baking sheets.
Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until slightly puffed and lightly golden on the bottom, 12-15 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets.
Transfer to racks to cool.
Makes 3 dozen.

The recipe is a keeper!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes! 


  1. How easy it is to poke fun at others. Poking fun at oneself is a far better endeavor. Keep up the good cooking - and the poking.

  2. I love this! I often have misses that are not as perfect as I would like. My son who is a chef tells me it is perfect because it is rustic and home made. I am sure they must taste wonderful.

  3. I am sure they are delicious; after all they are cinnamon, my favorite spice! I'm bookmarking these to try, but don't know if I'll get them done for Christmas.

  4. Stephen, I definitely do plenty of things to poke fun at! I just keep trying.

    Rita, I like that! From now on, it's rustic all the way here, thanks to you and your son!

    Lynda, they really are good with the cinnamon. Crisp and crunchy!

  5. Gosh do those ever look yummy Pam!! I love that they are wiggly like that...thought you meant to do it that way ~ cute!!

  6. Pam, I like your psychedelic cookies. I made these too and they didn't look quite like the picture. Happy holidays!

  7. I enjoy your blog because you are a real cook, and that gives us all inspiration to keep on cooking! I have this one bookmarked, thanks.

  8. I think they look roses. Besides, they never look like the picture. A lot of the pictures in cookbooks are stock photos that have been adjusted to fit the recipe. My designer with Better Homes & Gardens told me that. I hope it wasn't a secret or else I my be in trouble! Lol

  9. They are perfect no matter what when you eat them, I'm sure.

  10. Pam really I think look awesome.
    The other day I made apricot jam and I was a disaster:( (so caramel I cook so much:) and I made jam all years.
    Ah yours look so pretty!!
    Have a wonderful Christmas and Blessings!

  11. I have to say that one of the best things about dining alone is that nobody can critique my food :) I think the cookies look delicious.

  12. Pam, These cookies look great to me! It's all about how they taste and I actually like that psychedelic look... Take Care and Merry Christmas! Big Daddy Dave

  13. How funny Pam, I know what you feel like: we all have one of those days! But your cookies look great, and most important they were done with all your heart... :)

  14. Gurl....this is my normal day cooking!
    But hey, it's the taste that counts...
    I'm sure they are super tasty...

  15. Oh yes ... I always love your cookie recipes.


  16. What cute cookies! I love all that cinnamon flavor.

  17. TSKG, lol! Thanks! They definitely have a wiggle to them!

    Penny, I am sure yours look better than this! They're yummy!

    Melynda and Terry, we are the Browns! Thank you! That's so nice of you. I've had my share of cooking disasters but I keep plugging away!

    Linda, that's good to know about the pros, and I don't think they will blame you for telling. Actually, I think they look like roses also; I like that, thanks!

    Jennifurla, thanks! You're right, they taste great!

    Gloria, I sympathize! Sometimes you just never know how things will turn out, even though you've made it many times.

    Dining Alone, you've got that right! Luckily, my family is pretty happy with most of my cooking. But stuff happens sometimes...

    Dave, you probably like the psychedelic look like I do because we're of that age. lol!

    Marina, thanks! Yes, I put my heart into my cooking most of the time, as I'm sure you do.

    Shug, you crack me up! I bet your cooking is fine and you hear no complaints. You're right---it's about the taste.

    Glenda, thank you!

    Joanne, thanks! They have great cinnamon flavor; but like I said, the next time, I might add more.

  18. Hi Pam,
    What a delight these pinwheels. I love cinnamon and would have one or two straight away with a good cup of tea!!
    Cheers and hope you have a fantastic Christmas!

  19. I love your honesty - LOL. And honestly, they look delicious!

  20. Mmmmm....cinnamon cookies are so perfect for the holidays! They look good to me!!! Merry Christmas, Pam~

  21. Lia, I just wish I could pass a dozen through to you! They're good!

    Karen, lol! Thanks!

    STITK, thanks! Even though they look a bit crazy, I love the cinnamon flavor and crunchy texture.

    Lizzy Do, thank you! And Merry Christmas to you also!


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