With the holiday season upon us, the number of recipes on our to-do list is getting longer and longer. I’m going to add one more to your list today. You can thank me later.
The good news is that these pinwheel cookies will be the easiest recipe you make all season long and the one you’ll keep coming back to time and again. These festive cookies are so pretty and totally irresistible with that bright red cranberry center.
The cranberry filling is made with fresh cranberries for a refreshing zip that contrasts perfectly with the sweet cookie. Pecans and orange zest are the perfect complementary flavors. The filling is zipped together in a food processor making it pretty darn painless.
I used my favorite pinwheel cookie base that consists of Challenge butter, sugar, an egg, flour and my secret ingredient – almond extract.
My mom used to make her sugar cookies with almond extract and I LOVED the flavor. She told me it was for two reasons:
1. Almond extract is clear, so when you’re making cookies that are supposed to white or very light in color, it really works best.
2. The flavor is a little unexpected. We are so used to vanilla extract in our cookie recipes that the almond really makes you sit up and take notice. It goes especially well in this recipe.
When you’re making a recipe that calls for so few ingredients like this one, it’s really important to use high-quality ingredients like Challenge Butter.
I’ve used Challenge Butter for as long as I can remember…and I’m getting older every day ☺ It is made with 100% real cream butter – nothing artificial – and you can taste the rich sweet cream in every bite. Made with the freshest milk from local dairies, Challenge Butter goes from farm to fridge in just 2 days!
No hormones. No additives. No fillers. That is what I want for my family. Especially during the holidays!
These cookies are the perfect addition to your holiday table and will steal the show on any cookie tray. Be prepared to share the recipe!
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup pecan halves
- Zest from one orange
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup Challenge Butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ tsp almond extract
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1Combine cranberries, pecans, orange zest, and one quarter cup of sugar in a food processor. Process until the cranberries and pecan have been broken down into very small pieces. Set aside.
2Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the almond extract and egg until well combined. Stir in the flour, mixing just until incorporated.
3Divide the dough in half.
4Cover a large cutting board with plastic wrap and use another piece of plastic wrap to press out half of the dough into an 8-inch square.
5Spread half of the cranberry filling over the dough to within half an inch of the edges.
6Use the plastic wrap to carefully roll up the dough.
7Pinch the edges of the dough to seal. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours up to 48 hours, or until dough is firm. (Repeat with remaining dough and filling.)
8Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
9Cut ¼ inch slices from the roll and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are very lightly browned.
10Let cool on the baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack. Repeat for remaining cookies.