I am always trying to improve my baking skills. In my mind, there are two ways to do this: constantly try new recipes, or continue making the same few recipes until you get them perfect.
I personally go back and forth between these practises, but most of the time, I want to try something new. I want to make as many different things as possible, or as many different versions of something as I can. Example: pinwheel cookies.
Cookies – particularly sugar cookies – are not something that’s new to me. I’ve made them many times before, and I am sure I will continue to make them forever, as I love eating them, and I really want to perfect making AND decorating them.
However, every now and then I like to mix things up, which is why I decided to try a new kind of cookie – the pinwheel cookie. Whilst the recipe I use in this post is the same recipe I use for all my sugar cookies, the method itself changed a bit, which caused me to learn a few things and make a few mistakes along the way.
As I’m sure you’ll be able to tell from the photos, these cookies are not exactly round, as I tried to make them. I believe this is because I didn’t chill them enough (I go into more detail later on how long I chilled them for, and how long I recommend YOU chill them for 😅).
The colours also smushed together in some areas, which I am chalking up to my incredibly blunt knife and the fact that it crushed the cookies before it started cutting them.
As a perfectionist, it hurts my ego to share a recipe that I am not entirely proud of, but I realised I needed to do it anyway, for the other “me”s out there. I am sharing this recipe – including my advice on how to do better at the areas that I went wrong – for the beginners like me who don’t understand how other people get it right all the time.
I want to show everyone that mistakes do happen and, as unfortunate as they are, they teach us something we didn’t know for next time, because that’s the kind of thing that I need to read every now and then.
I need to see mistakes and not-so-perfect creations so I know it’s not just me, because deep down I DO know it’s not just me, but sometimes I need to hear it from others! Which means that other people need to hear it too, which is exactly what I’m here for. Happy baking!
YOU WILL NEED:
♡ 115g butter, softened
♡ 1/2 cup white sugar
♡ 1 1/4 cup flour (I used gluten free, but you can sub in plain flour!)
♡ 1 egg
♡ 1 tsp Strawberry & Cream flavour extract
♡ Pink food gel
1. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and combined.
2. Add in the egg and roughly one teaspoon of your Strawberry and Cream extract – depending on how strong you’d like the flavour to be – and beat again.
3. Slowly add the flour to the mixture in 2-3 increments, scraping down the sides of your bowl with a spatula to ensure all the mixture is being beaten. If necessary, switch over to a dough hook once the majority of the flour has been added.
4. Lightly dust a clean bench area with flour and start kneading your dough until it is no longer sticky. Split the dough into two equal parts. With one part, add 1-2 drops of pink food gel and knead – either with your mixture, or with gloves on – until the entire ball of dough is a light pink. Place aside.
5. Get your second batch of dough, add 3-4 drops of pink food gel, and beat or knead until the entire ball is one colour. You want both balls of dough to be two very different shades of pink.
6. Roll your dark pink ball of dough onto a sheet of baking paper until it becomes a rectangle, then move the dough and paper onto a baking tray.
7. Get your light pink batch of dough, and roll that into a rectangle onto some baking paper. Place that dough on top of your light pink dough – ensuring that there’s a sheet of baking paper between the two colours – and place the tray in the fridge for half an hour.
8. Get out the baking tray from the fridge, and lift up the top layer of dough by sliding your hand under the baking paper. Then very gently flip it over so that the two coloured doughs are lying on top of each other. Begin at the end closest to you, and slowly and carefully roll the two doughs together to become a log of cookie dough.
As mentioned earlier, I do not believe I chilled my dough long enough, which caused my cookies to lose their shapes. After step 8, I went straight to cutting out my cookies and baking, but after doing more research on pinwheel cookies, I have discovered that you are recommended to chill the dough again once you have rolled it into a log.
Everyone has their own time recommendations, from 2 hours to overnight, so I will leave the exact time up to your own discretion. However, if I was going to make these cookies again, I would chill them for 2 hours minimum, and that you wrap them in cling wrap beforehand.
9. Once your dough is almost finished chilling, set your oven to 190C. Take your dough out of the fridge and carefully remove the cling wrap. Use a very sharp knife to cut your dough into coins (preferably thinner than the ones I did 😂), wiping your knife after every slice to avoid any colour smearing.
10. Bake your cookies for 10 minutes. If yours are a little thick like mine, you may need to leave them in the oven for another 5 or so minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Then, you’re done!
I realise that I talked so much about making and learning from your mistakes in the beginning of this post that I didn’t even mention the inspiration behind this cookie design!
Most people know by now that SpongeBob is one of my favourite TV shows, yet I have (shockingly) only made ONE recipe inspired by it so far – and that was over a year ago! So, I knew I had to make another tribute to this lovely lighthearted show that brings me to tears of laughter, and here it is ☺️
Plus, you can’t deny that Gary’s shell looks a lot like pinwheel cookies. Minus those random blue spots of his, which you could always add with royal icing or sprinkles if you wanted to!
If nothing else, I hope you take away from this post that there is a learning curve to everything. There is always a mistake to make, and something to gain from it. You’ll never grow unless you try new things, as difficult – or as simple – as they may be. All you can do is try, and if you fail, try again.
That is what I vow to always do: keep trying, keep growing, and keep making fun recipes and DIY projects until I no longer look at my results and think of what I could have done better. That’s the end goal!
Until next time,