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Colorful Spiral Cookies

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Colorful Spiral Cookies

Colorful Spiral Cookies
Heather Baird
Provided by:
total prep
The use of bright colors in this recipe communicates a feeling of cheerfulness and energy. They are easily made in a food processor, and the dough can be kept in the freezer for slice-and-bake convenience.

Reprinted with permission from Dessert Recipes to Inspire Your Inner Artist by Heather Baird, 2012. Published by Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co.


  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 pound plus 4 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces and kept very cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear flavoring extract, such as peppermint, orange, lemon, or clear vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose (or other) gel food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups jumbo multicolored non-pareils


  • Combine 2 cups of the flour with the baking powder, salt, and sugars in a food processor, and pulse briefly to mix.
  • Add the cold butter in pieces; process with short bursts until the mixture has a crumbly consistency.
  • Add the vanilla extract and process in 3-second pulses until a dough ball forms.
  • Divide the dough in half and return one portion to the food processor. Add the clear flavor extract, gel food coloring, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the flour to the processor and process until just incorporated.
  • Roll out each portion of dough between sheets of wax paper to form a rectangle about 11 x 8 1/2 inches x 1/8 inch thick.
  • Transfer the rolled dough inside the wax paper onto a large cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

  • Remove the dough pieces from the refrigerator.
  • Pour the nonpareil decors into a shallow rectangular dish, such as a standard 9 x 13-inch pan.
  • Peel off the top sheet of wax paper from both pieces of dough.
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the vanilla dough with water.
  • Using the wax paper, lift the red dough and flip it over onto the vanilla dough so they are stacked. Gently press the two dough pieces together.
  • Remove the top sheet of wax paper and trim the edges of the dough square.
  • When the dough is just pliable but still cold, roll it up along the longest side like a jelly roll.
  • Gently curl the edge with your fingertips so you don't get any air pockets as you roll the dough into a log. While rolling the dough, the vanilla portion (which will be on the outside of the roll) may want to tear; pinch tears together as they happen and keep rolling.
  • After forming the dough into a log, dispose of the wax paper.
  • Gently lift the log and place it on top of the nonpareils in the dish. Roll until the log is completely coated with sprinkles.
  • Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to slice, about 3 hours.
    Note: Cookie dough can be frozen up to 2 months.

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Slice the dough into ¼-inch-thick cookies, cutting carefully and avoiding the nonpareils, and bake on parchment-lined baking sheets for 15 to 17 minutes.
  • When done, cookies should no longer be shiny on top and the bottoms should be lightly browned.
  • Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to slice, about 3 hours. Note: Cookie dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator until soft enough to slice.