The Berne, Indiana area Amish settlement is a repository of food memories for me: rivel soup, vinegar pie, bread pie, one-kettle soup, homemade white bread, and I could go on and on listing menu items that make me wax sentimental. Those were simpler times, even among the Amish. Warm spring days with a whiff of rhubarb on the wind. Those were special days and I'll never get them back, but they live on for me in food.
Pinwheel cookies are an Amish favorite. This isn't an iced cookie or an overly sweet cookie, but it still has managed to win me over. This is what I could call a perfect "breakfast cookie." Really, you have a couple of these with a cup of coffee in the morning and you'll be satisfied.
The first time I ever tried this cookie was at the home of the late Elizabeth Coblentz. As the name implies there's a pinwheel swirl of chocolate that gives these cookies their distinctive look.Rachel made these over the weekend and she thought that these would be cute "baby shower" cookies where you could add food coloring and create gender-themed cookies with traditional pink or blue. The cookies look really cool with their signature swirls but Rachel reports that they really were not difficult to make.
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 1 /2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 teaspoons baking powder
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 /4 cup milk
- 4 eggs, separated
- 6 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- In a large mixing bowl, stir butter, salt, sugar, baking powder, flour, milk, and the egg yolk.
- The white can be discarded or saved for another recipe.
- Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough is elastic.
- More flour can be added as needed.
- Divide the dough into two halves.
- Put one dough half in a mixing bowl and add cocoa.
- Knead the dough with your hands until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in and the dough turns a dark color.
- In the other bowl, add vanilla and work through the dough until mixed, adding more flour if needed to keep the dough elastic.
- On two floured surfaces roll each dough ball into 12 X 9” rectangles about 1/ 4 inch thick.
- Place the white dough on top of the cocoa dough and press together
- Then roll tightly lengthwise like a jellyroll, 2 inches in diameter.
- Set in the refrigerator covered overnight.
- In the morning, Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Slice the dough into 1 /2-inch slices and arrange flat on the sheets and bake until the cookies are firm, about 20 minutes.