Monday, August 28, 2006

Mondays with Maida - Pinwheels

Page 152 in the old book / page 184 in the new book

These are the classic pinwheel cookie where layers of chocolate and vanilla dough are rolled together so that each cookie has an attractive spiral of chocolate. This particular version has the added element of pecans, which is a welcome addition in terms of flavor and texture, but which makes the making just a little trickier.

In regards to those pecans, let's just say that when Maida tells you to use "finely" chopped pecans, take heed. I cut each pecan half into about eight pieces, but that was too big. I failed to consider that in a rolled dough, the size of the nuts in the dough will dictate how thinly you will be able to roll it. As it turns out, mine were just slightly too big. Fortunately, I had rolled out the vanilla dough first, so it was not a problem to adjust the size of the chocolate dough. I lost about an inch in the length, so the change in thickness was minimal.

Maida advises you to roll the dough between sheets of wax paper. Here's my tip for getting the dough rolled to the correct size and shape most easily: use masking or freezer tape to mark a rectangle of the proper dimensions on your counter. It is much easier to check your progress against this template than to pull out a ruler time and again. You can see the tape through the wax paper and can trim it as necessary to achieve a perfect rectangle.

Here's the panel...

Suzanne: "I love pinwheel cookies. They are so attractive and appealing. They also had all the ingredients I like. How could you miss with chocolate, pecans, and lots of butter? The size was smaller then I expected, so I guess I’ll have to take another cookie. Rating: 5.0"

Denny: "Kind of lackluster. Only a 3, even with +1 for chocolate. Rating - 3.0"

Herman: "These are excellent and tickle my taste-buds … 5 out of 5! Rating - 5.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 4.3

This is the last of the icebox cookies. Stop back by tomorrow to find out which were my personal favorites. Next week we start the chapter on rolled cookies with Swedish Rye Wafers (and more caraway seeds!)

Nutrition Facts


Zarah Maria said...

That idea with the tape is great - I never thought of that! Cute cookies too - I'm sure I wouldn't have the patience for making anything like that...

Nic said...

I second the tape idea - it's a good one. The cookies look perfect, Cathy. Great job!

Cathy said...

Hi Zarah - thanks! The tape was one of those ideas that came out of desperation. I used to make a double batch rugelach every Christmas, which meant rolling four rectangles of ultra-thin dough. Using the tape made that chore just a little bit easier!

Hi Nic - thanks so much!

Josie said...

Wow! This is one of those tips that is going to make my life so much easier from now on! Thank you so much! I hope you don't mind, but I've linked this brilliant post of yours on my blog...something this fabulous simply has to be shared!

Cathy said...

Hi Josie - thanks so much! And no, of course I don't mind!