Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I hope that everyone experiences a holiday season full of hope and joy and people that you love. Thank you all for reading my blog, for your encouraging comments and thoughts. I appreciate it! The ten months that I’ve had this blog have been a wonderful experience for me, and I’m excited to continue writing and sharing more about food.
I wanted to get up one more post before taking a few days off for Christmas. I decided that my Christmas cookie selection here on the blog was still pretty sparse, so I decided to share another recipe, which I tried for the first time this year but will be making an annual tradition! A couple weeks ago I dedicated one day to, mostly, Christmas cookie baking, making four different types. The cookies you see in the pictures above and below are the results of that busy day; I later made a couple other batches as well.
The final results of the cookie baking were: peppermint brownie mounds, white chocolate peppermint biscotti, cranberry orange pinwheels, chocolate chip gingerbread, honey ginger bites (not pictured), and moravian wafers (not pictured). The most exciting thing was that almost all of them were made with whole wheat flour and were refined sugar free! Made me happy. And I got to share them with lots of friends, so hopefully they made them happy as well!!
I had the idea for these cookies while thinking about another way to use up all of the cranberries Joe & I picked this fall. Mmmm, I thought cranberry & orange are always lovely, and a nice change from a lot of the overly sweet Christmas treats. I got online and browsed a few similar recipe options, then devised my own method. My cookies ended up having about twice as much cranberry filling as a lot of the recipes I looked at, which makes for a nice color contrast and a wonderful cranberry flavor. When Joe had his long flight down to Ohio, I sent him along with a few of these to eat for his breakfast, which he said was perfect. Most likely they were healthier than just about anything he could’ve bought in the airport!
They are a bit of work, as pinwheels generally are, but still easier than other pinwheel cookies I’ve made, because you don’t have to make two different types of dough. Just one dough and the filling, which comes together pretty easily. They’re well worth any extra effort!
Cranberry Orange Pinwheels
makes about 6 dozen
3 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
2 cups pecans
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Working in two separate batches, combine all the ingredients in a food processor until evenly chopped. You want this relatively fine so you can spread it out over the cookie dough easily.
3 1/2 cups flour (I used 2 cups wheat and 1 1/2 cups white)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup olive oil
3 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp orange zest
3 Tbsp orange juice (from the orange you zested!)
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Chill 30-90 minutes, or until easy to handle. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12×15 inch rectangle between two sheets of waxed paper. Freeze this dough for 20-30 minutes. Beginning with one rectangle, remove the top sheet of waxed paper and cover the dough with 1/2 of the cranberry filling. Roll up tightly and freeze again for 3-4 hours (or overnight).
Heat oven to 350 degrees and oil a couple cookie sheets. Slice the pinwheel dough into 1/4 inch slices with a serrated knife and place on prepared sheets. Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until slightly browned. Cool slightly on pans before removing to racks to cool completely.