Cranberry-Orange Pinwheel Cookies

A soft pinwheel cookie with a burst of festive color from the cranberry and pecan filling.

Light and flavorful cranberry-orange pinwheel cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Light and flavorful cranberry-orange pinwheel cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

You might remember these from last year. They’re a tradition in this house. An absolute must. When I asked The Mr recently what his top 5 favorite cookies were, these were on the list. Of course he couldn’t even give me a list of 5 but that’s not the point. I’ve been making them for Christmas easily the last 6 years or more.

I like making these for the aromas. The orange zest and cranberries give off wonderful fragrances. How something smells is just as important as how it looks and tastes, to me anyway. And these smell incredible. They also have a nice light taste. You can eat cookie after cookie without having a heavy feeling in your stomach like certain other desserts can cause.

Light and flavorful cranberry-orange pinwheel cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

These require more work than the average cookie but the end result is worth it. Be sure to check out my tips below for an easier time making these.

Yield: Roughly 4 dozen cookies

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

Total Time: 24+ hours

Cranberry-Orange Pinwheel Cookies

A soft pinwheel cookie that has a burst of festive color from the cranberry and pecan filling.

Ingredients:

1C fresh cranberries
1C pecans
1/4C light brown sugar
1C unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp orange zest
3C all purpose flour

Directions:

In a food processor; add cranberries, pecans and brown sugar. Blend well until only small pieces remain. Set aside or cover and chill until needed.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add baking powder, salt, eggs and orange zest. Beat only low/medium for roughly 1 minute. Contents may be lumpy. Add flour by the spoonfuls, mixing on medium speed until ingredients have been mixed well. Cover and chill for at least one hour.

Divide dough in half. Place one half between two sheets of wax paper. Roll into a large rectangle roughly 1/4" thick. Remove top layer of wax paper. Evenly spread out half of the cranberry filling over dough to 1/2" from all sides.

Begin rolling from one of the short ends. Dough may stick at first. Gently guide dough by pulling up on wax paper. Pinch to seal ends. Transfer rolled dough log to a clean sheet of waxed paper. Roll and tape shut. Place between two large drinking glasses. This will help prevent flat bottom logs.

Chill at least 24 hours. After several hours, gently roll log to check for any flat spots.

When ready to bake. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice 1/4" thick slices. Space 1-2" apart on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silpat. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are just turning golden. Let cookies rest on tray for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Store in a covered container for up to a week. Remaining dough may be frozen. Label well with any instructions such as type of dough, baking temp, time, etc.

**For more 'how to' photos go here.

Recipe source: BHG cookbook 12th edition

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221 Responses to “Cranberry-Orange Pinwheel Cookies”

  1. #
    1
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — December 16, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I’m taking some time off and going to visit my parents for a few days.

  2. #
    2
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — December 16, 2011 at 7:14 am

    I follow you on Twitter

  3. #
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    Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) — December 16, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Holiday plans …BAKE, BAKE,BAKE! What a great giveaway Rachel. I love those cookies. I don’t have any pecans at the moment but am thinking pistachios. You think they’ll work. These are beautiful cookies!

  4. #
    4
    Baker Street — December 16, 2011 at 7:33 am

    These pinwheels look gorgeous! :)

  5. #
    5
    Baker Street — December 16, 2011 at 7:34 am

    I like you on FB!

  6. #
    6
    Baker Street — December 16, 2011 at 7:34 am

    and follow you on twitter! :)

  7. #
    7
    Baker Street — December 16, 2011 at 7:36 am

    And I tweeted!:)

  8. #
    8
    Baker Street — December 16, 2011 at 7:37 am

    For the holidays, we have a delicious weekend planned. Hosting dinner on christmas day: Lots of booze, food and a big dessert buffet! ;)

  9. #
    9
    The Mr. — December 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I can’t believe I forgot to bring some of these to work today.

  10. #
    10
    amanda @ fake ginger — December 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

    My favorite holiday cookies are cranberry-orange too. I’ve never made pinwheels ones though. They look delicious!

    I will NOT be watching that marathon. Ugghh. Can’t stand that movie. No traveling and yes to big meal! :)

  11. #
    11
    amanda @ fake ginger — December 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I like you on FB!

  12. #
    12
    amanda @ fake ginger — December 16, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I follow you on Twitter!

  13. #
    13
    amanda @ fake ginger — December 16, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I subscribe via Google Reader!

  14. #
    14
    amanda @ fake ginger — December 16, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Tweeted!

  15. #
    15
    Ilene Mitnick — December 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Empty nesters now, we’re planning a lovely Christmas Eve dinner as my kids will be home. Gifts the next morning, and then the kids are off to their dad’s. And, when that happens, our ritual is to catch a new movie and sushi each Christmas. Always a wonderful time.

  16. #
    16
    Ilene Mitnick — December 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I followed you! I do what I’m told…. usually.

  17. #
    17
    Pam @ From Apples To Zucchini — December 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

    We go to my parents for Christmas Eve, open gifts, then Christmas Day we open gifts at home and head back to my parents for dinner.

  18. #
    18
    Ilene Mitnick — December 16, 2011 at 7:50 am

    and, tweeted. p.s. your pinwheels look lovely.

  19. #
    19
    Pam @ From Apples To Zucchini — December 16, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I follow you on Twitter :)

  20. #
    20
    Pam @ From Apples To Zucchini — December 16, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I subscribe via RSS :)

  21. #
    21
    Pam @ From Apples To Zucchini — December 16, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I tweeted ;)

  22. #
    22
    Julie @ Table for Two — December 16, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I LOVE cranberry-orange anything!! yummm :)

  23. #
    23
    Pam @ From Apples To Zucchini — December 16, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I shared on FB too :D

  24. #
    24
    Todd — December 16, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I like you on Facebook.

  25. #
    25
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — December 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

    These cookies are so beautiful! I think I’m working Christmas Day, but you probably aren’t surprised about that!

  26. #
    26
    Angela Scalise — December 16, 2011 at 7:58 am

    This holiday, we will not have any immediate family in the area. Thinking about taking it easy for a change and just enjoying my husband and our daughters. Maybe some movies, lights on the lake and chillin’.

  27. #
    27
    Angela Scalise — December 16, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I like you on FB!

  28. #
    28
    Todd — December 16, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I follow you on twitter.

  29. #
    29
    Jeannette B — December 16, 2011 at 8:00 am

    My holiday plans had a wrench thrown in them so instead of my usual split between two families in two days, we’ll be heading to meet with the in-laws a few hours away by the beautiful river. too bad it’s warm here. not very xmassy. :( great giveaway!! my processor recently crapped out on me and i’ve been slightly freaking out!!

  30. #
    30
    Jeannette B — December 16, 2011 at 8:00 am

    i like you on facebook

  31. #
    31
    Jeannette B — December 16, 2011 at 8:01 am

    i follow you on twitter @whmsicalcupcake

  32. #
    32
    Todd — December 16, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I tweeted

  33. #
    33
    Jeannette B — December 16, 2011 at 8:02 am

    i subscribed to your rss feed

  34. #
    34
    Todd — December 16, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I follow you via RSS.

  35. #
    35
    Todd — December 16, 2011 at 8:03 am

    My wife and I are going to enjoy spending time with our 3 kids, and we just might pop in our dvd of A Christmas Story.

  36. #
    36
    Cs white — December 16, 2011 at 8:15 am

    We’re heading to my brother’s in-laws for a Christmas Eve party, then heading home for a quiet Christmas to ourselves. The best of both worlds.

  37. #
    37
    Kim, KC Bakes — December 16, 2011 at 8:15 am

    If anyone changes the channel off of A Christmas Story marathon in my house, they get in big trouble :) It’s funny b/c my mom bought both my brother and I the DVD of ACS bc she knows we like it so much, and 3 years later, both of our copies are still in the plastic b/c we only like to watch it when its on in marathon mode.

    Other than that, my parents are coming for the first time to celebrate Christmas w/ my in-laws on Christmas Eve, wish me luck :)

  38. #
    38
    Kim, KC Bakes — December 16, 2011 at 8:16 am

    “Like” & love ya on Facebook!

  39. #
    39
    Kim, KC Bakes — December 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Long time follower on Twitter :)

  40. #
    40
    Kim, KC Bakes — December 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Just tweeted about the giveaway… tho I really didn’t want to, lowers my chance of winning, haha ;)

  41. #
    41
    Jeannette B — December 16, 2011 at 8:24 am

    i shared this post on facebook

  42. #
    42
    Jeannette B — December 16, 2011 at 8:24 am

    and i tweeted this giveaway! *crossing fingers* merry christmas!!

  43. #
    43
    Evelyn R — December 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

    We have family coming to visit for the holiday

  44. #
    44
    Evelyn R — December 16, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I like Baked by Rachel on Facebook

  45. #
    45
    Evelyn R — December 16, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I follow your RSS feed

  46. #
    46
    Jen @ BeantownBaker.com — December 16, 2011 at 8:40 am

    These look so pretty. I can never get my cookies to stay nice and round. I’ll have to try the glasses trick…

    For Xmas, we’re going to the in-laws. We’ll probably eat and drink way too much, but it’ll be awesome.

  47. #
    47
    Jen @ BeantownBaker.com — December 16, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I follow you on Twitter

  48. #
    48
    Jen @ BeantownBaker.com — December 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

    And your RSS

  49. #
    49
    Feast on the Cheap — December 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Somehow everything tastes better in pinwheel form!

  50. #
    50
    Valerie — December 16, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Holiday plans for me include family fun at my parent’s house!

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