Peppermint Spiral Cookies

polymer clay, rose, chalcedony
Posted on 12/11/2011 by jewelparadise
I've been making a ton of chocolate-based baked goods lately, and as much as I love the oh-so-seasonal combination of chocolate and mint, I wanted to do something without chocolate for once. So I scanned bakebakebake and found this post by [info]angelicate! I've duplicated the recipe below, and my alterations/comments are below that. Feel free to check out this semi-wordy post either below the cut or at my blog post!
Peppermint Spiral Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups unsifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon flaming red liquid gel food coloring or 9 drops red liquid food coloring
1 tablespoon unsifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups multi-colored nonpareil decors

Instructions:
1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugars in a food processor and process briefly to mix. Add the butter in pieces; process with on/off bursts until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal. Add the vanilla and process until the mixture just forms a ball.
2. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions then return one of the portions to the food processor. Add the peppermint extract, food coloring, and the extra tablespoon of flour to the processor and process until just incorporated.
3. Roll out each portion of dough between sheets of waxed paper. You want a rectangle about 11 x 8 1/2 inches by 1/8 inch thick. Leave the dough between the sheets of waxed paper and slide onto a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
4. Remove dough pieces from refrigerator. Pour the nonpareil decors into a shallow rectangular dish (such as a 9 x 13-inch pan. Peel off the top sheet of waxed paper from both doughs. Brush the vanilla dough very lightly with water. Using the waxed paper, lift the peppermint dough and flip it onto the vanilla dough so they are stacked. Press with your fingertips to seal the two doughs together. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper and trim the edges even.
5. When the dough is just pliable (but still cold), roll up the dough rectangles (begin with the long side) like a jellyroll. As you begin to roll, gently curl the edge with your fingertips so you don't get any air pockets as you roll dough into a log. As you roll, lift the waxed paper to help you roll the dough neatly and tightly.
6. After forming the dough into a log, throw away the waxed paper, and roll the dough back and forth on the work surface to evenly distribute the dough and form a nice little log. Gently lift the log on top of the nonpareil decors in the dish and roll until the log is completely coated with decors. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to slice (from 4 hours to a week, or freeze for up to 2 months; defrost in the refrigerator overnight before slicing).
7. Adjust rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325°. To bake, slice the log into 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick cookies and bake on parchment-lined baking sheets for 15 to 17 minutes, until the cookies are no longer shiny on top and the bottoms of the vanilla portion are golden.
All set up for sharing :)
First of all, I made a double batch and got about 120 small cookies (around 1.5 inches in diameter.) I didn't have cake flour on hand, so I just did the 1 cup cake flour to 1 cup - 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour substitution. I didn't have cornstarch to replace the subtracted tablespoons either, but it turned out fine. I was also lacking a food processor, so I did the mixing with a fork and my hands. It takes a little longer, but a processor isn't necessary (though I did look like a murderer caught red-handed after mixing in the red food coloring.)
A lot of cookies.
I added an extra splash of mint while mixing the red dough just because I like mint; the end result still wasn't overpowering. I also skipped the sprinkles step for a simpler appearance. I would recommend not making the layers overly thin: that's what happened to me, particularly with the white layers. I didn't think it would be problematic, but rolling the layers up became a lot more difficult as a result. As for the oven rack placement, I just left mine in the middle. I figure the lower-third placement is just to avoid browning of the top? Anyway, I wasn't too picky about that, so the middle worked just fine.

The only real difficulty with these cookies is the multiple fridge sessions - you'll need to schedule that out in advance if you have a deadline to present these cookies! The steps themselves are pretty simple, though, and the cookies are light, buttery, and mildly sweet and minty. I think I'd definitely give these a go again :)
xalittlebitshy 12th-Dec-2011 04:38 am (UTC)
These look sooo good right now. haha. I need to make these.
jewelparadise 12th-Dec-2011 06:19 am (UTC)
Thanks, and you should! They're delicious but not too much of a hassle :)
zarya 12th-Dec-2011 05:28 am (UTC)
There's no butter in your list of ingredients??
ni_tsukihime 12th-Dec-2011 06:13 am (UTC)
There's also no mint extract listed, no explanation of what the nonpareils are for, and no mention of whether it's exactly half of the dough for each color or some other ratio.
My guess is the copy and paste was slightly rushed.
jewelparadise 12th-Dec-2011 06:18 am (UTC)
Thanks for pointing it out, zarya! For some reason, the copy/paste of the HTML version of this particular post from my blog only ends up pasting alternating halves of the recipe! I won't pretend to understand why, but when I tried to re-paste the recipe, it pasted the other half... So I re-typed the recipe into LJ - that should take care of it :) Let me know if I missed anything, though.
izzy_stradlin 12th-Dec-2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
what actually *is* cake flour? Just self raising?
jewelparadise 12th-Dec-2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
I think self-rising flour has to be substituted with some leavening agents? I'll take a look...

This link is pretty informative!
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Bread/FlourTypes.htm
ni_tsukihime 12th-Dec-2011 10:50 pm (UTC)
Cake flour is finely ground flour from a variety of wheat that has a lower protein content than most of the varieties of wheat we use for flour.

Protein + water = gluten, not good for cake unless you're going for something firm and springy, not necessarily good for cookies (can cause them to be tough). In order to lower the protein content of all-purpose flour for a recipe that calls for cake flour, a substitution can be made of all-purpose flour mixed with a certain ratio of a pure starch such as cornstarch or potato starch.

Cake flour is sometimes chlorinated to obtain that bright white color that is desirable in a white cake recipe, but does not contain leaveners unless it is specifically listed as "self-rising". This is true of all flours.
phenomenal 12th-Dec-2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Those are beautiful!
jewelparadise 13th-Dec-2011 01:25 am (UTC)
Thank you :D
sparrowspark 13th-Dec-2011 06:22 am (UTC)
Oh those look super cute and fun ^_^
Thanks for the inspiration ! ~
jewelparadise 13th-Dec-2011 06:31 am (UTC)
They're tasty too ;)
I hope you give them a try!
sparrowspark 13th-Dec-2011 09:59 am (UTC)
I made the usual chocolate and vanilla ones last year for the Christmas biscuit tin so perhaps I shall :3
tsyganova_2013 Look fun!28th-Jan-2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
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