Cranberry Pinwheels

I am one of those people who love cranberries. I love cranberry juice, dried cranberries, and I LOVE cranberry sauce. When I was at Sam’s Club the other day they had this HUGE bag of cranberries that I couldn’t resist in buying. My plan was to use them to make cranberry sauce for the family Thanksgiving dinner…however I realized once I got it home I had way too many cranberries and needed a way to use them. I decided to go with cookies. I found this recipe on Tammy’s Recipes, and this recipe for sure will become a yearly Holiday cookie for several reasons! For one, the cookies are so good. They are not too sweet, a little tart, and just a good balance to the normal rich cookie. Second, I can make these cookies weeks in advance and just freeze them. They cook up fast so all I have to do is take out a roll and slice up some cookies. So easy! I hope you enjoy!

To start, you will need the following ingredients:
Cookie Dough Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom, optional
Cranberry Filling Ingredients:
2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon orange zest, optional
1. Soften you butter.

2. Cream together sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
3. Add in your cardamom.
4. Mix together well.
5. In a sifter, place you flour and salt and sift into the bowl. Stir until a thick dough is formed. I should say this dough is pretty stiff, so I had to kneed it by hand. (Don’t worry I washed my hands.)
6. Divide your dough in half and form balls. (I doubled my recipe so I had four balls of dough, instead of two.) Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
7. Measure out your cranberries.
8. Mix 1/4 cup of water with the cornstarch and set aside.
9. In a sauce pan, place cranberries, sugar, and orange zest and heat on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Once most of the cranberries are popped, add water & cornstarch mixture and continue heating and stirring until mixture is thick and chunky. Let cool completely.
10. On a baker’s mat (I highly recommend these!) sprinkle confectioner’s sugar and roll out one ball of the dough into a 12×7-inch rectangle. (If you do not chill your dough beforehand this step becomes very hard.)
11. Spread half of the cranberry mixture on each rectangle, to within 1 inch of the edges.
12. Start rolling your pinwheels. (The baker’s mat helps with this part because the dough doesn’t stick to it.)
13. Once all rolled up, wrap the dough in foil and place in freezer for up to 4 months.
14. If you are like me, you want cookies right away, so once the dough has pretty much frozen (4 hours or so) take it out and begin cutting. Cut the cookies to be about 1/3 inch thick. I tried to make these cookies without freezing the dough and the result was a squashed pinwheel. I suggest you freeze it for an easier cookie making process.
15. Place frozen slices on greased cookie sheets. (Just a note, there is no leavening agent in these cookies so you can place them very close together.) Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
16. Let cool for 5 minutes on pan and remove to a wire rack to cool completely. You will end up with these beautiful, yummy, cranberry cookies that are so easy to make!

I hope you enjoy! I know I did!