Monday Menu: Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

IMG_2891This recipe is from my grandmother’s well-worn-held-together-by-librarian’s-book-tape 1950s era cookbook.  And, these really are as good as they sound.  And look.  They go fast in our house.  And, yes, I’m the guilty party.

I use powdered baking cocoa instead of melted baking chocolate.  Just follow the directions on the side of the canister.  One thing to look out for is that this dough gets soft very quickly making it very hard to slice.  Make sure it is quite hard before starting to slice.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 cup minus 2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons milk
1 square baking chocolate, melted (or equivalent powdered baking cocoa)



Blend flour, baking soda, and salt together.  Set aside.


Cream butter.  Add sugar and blend thoroughly.

Add egg to the butter and sugar and blend thoroughly.

Add egg and beat mixture until it is light and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla.


Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.


Divide the dough into two equal portions.  Stir the cooled melted chocolate into one portion.


Chill both portions for at least 30 minutes.

Place each portion between two pieces of plastic wrap.

Pat or roll out the dough until each portion is about the same size and about 1/8” thick.


Remove the top sheets from each portion and carefully lay one portion on top of the other.


Remove the plastic wrap that is now on top and roll the two layers together as tightly as you can as if you were making a jelly roll.  Use the remaining sheet of plastic underneath the layers to help lift and roll the dough.


Wrap the dough log tightly in plastic wrap and chill until very firm.


When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap  and make thin slices across the dough log using a sharp knife.

Carefully place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.


Bake in a 375ºF oven for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are delicately browned.

Makes a couple dozen cookies depending upon how thinly you slice the dough and how much dough you ate before it even made it into the refrigerator for chilling.


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Dr. Julie-Ann

I'm Dr. Julie-Ann, living life in its Technicolor finest by channeling my Grandma, Donna Reed, and June Cleaver with a bit of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly glamour thrown in for good measure, too. I work outside of the home full-time as a university administrator but I nourish my soul and find my greatest happiness by trying to be the "perfect" 1950s homemaker.

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  1. 3

    Rose says

    Oh, these take me back! I remember making them as a kid. They’ll have to wait until after Lent – when I focusing on minimizing self-service so I have more time and energy for others – but I’ll definitely be making them. I guess I COULD pretend I’m making them for the husband, but in truth, I’m the cookie eater in this house!