Pink swirl cookies

After today you might start to see a theme. When I host an event, I try to find easy but delicious and pretty recipes. I’ve learned the hard way that tricky, intricate recipes + hosting = stressed out Claire so simple is the way I go. If any of the work can be done in stages so it seems even easier then that’s a bonus. Pink swirl cookies most definitely fitted the bill.

Pink swirl cookies

They look fantastic. They use really simple ingredients. They are easy to make. You can even make the dough weeks in advance and freeze it and they taste great. Could they be any more perfect?

The ingredients

The biscuits dough for these cookies is a pretty basic sugar biscuit. I think you could use the concept for any recipe you have as long as it’s one that results in a reasonably firm dough. My gingerbread recipe would be delicious!

Butter and sugar

I think you know the drill by now – beat the butter and sugar together until they’re light and fluffy.

Add the egg

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla then beat them through.

Dry ingredients

Sift in the dry ingredients and keep beating until the dough all comes together. I didn’t need to change to the dough hook for this step. You should be fine with the beater.

Separate the dough

Remove half the dough from the bowl and roll it into a bowl. Add some pink food colouring to the remaining dough and use the mixer to stir it until the colour is nice and even. Of course you could use any colour you like at this stage. A bit of melted chocolate would be rather nice too. Or you could use green colouring with a drop of peppermint essence.

Pretty dough balls

Lay out two large pieces of baking paper on the bench and place a dough ball on each one.

All rolled out

Then it’s time to roll the dough out. I found it easier to pat it down first into a rough rectangle then get to work with the rolling pin. Use a sheet of baking paper over the top of the dough to stop the rolling pin from sticking.

Layer the dough

Once the two sheets of dough are roughly the same size, use the baking paper to gently lift the pink dough on top of the plain dough.

Trimmed

Trim the sides of the dough so it forms a neat (ok sort of neat) rectangle.

Pretty trimmings

Yes I kept the leftovers.

Dough log

Very carefully roll the dough into a log. If you’ve ever made sushi before, you use the baking paper the same way you use a sushi mat. Gently but firmly roll it up making sure it is as tight as possible. Spread your chosen sprinkles on a tray and roll the dough log in the sprinkles. You don’t want to do this straight on the bench unless your idea of fun is picking up sprinkles from every corner of the kitchen for a few weeks.

Wrap it up

Wrap the dough log up in plastic wrap so it’s nice and tight.

Glass rests

This was a new trick I learned from this recipe. If you rest the dough in two glasses it stops it from getting a flat bottom. Just be sure to put something in front of it in the fridge so it doesn’t roll out. The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours. I left mine overnight.

Alternatively, the dough can be frozen at this stage so you have fresh dough ready to go.

Again – nothing goes to waste

Now of course I wasn’t going to waste those off-cuts. I separated them into 6 parts and gently rolled them into a marble ball.

Waste not want not

I then flattened each one out and baked them at 160C fan-forced for about 10 minutes.

Marble cookies

Slice ’em up

Once the dough is firm, take it out and slice it up into 1cm thick pieces. Lay them out on a baking paper lined tray leaving at least 2cm between each piece of dough. Bake the cookies at 160C fan-forced for 8-10 minutes or until they turn golden. You do not want to over-cook these or the pink will turn an ugly colour.

Resting

Leave the baked cookies to rest on the tray for 5 minutes.

Cooling

Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pink swirl cookies

Serve them up straight away or store them in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

What about you? Do you go for super-fancy recipes or do you keep it nice and simple when you entertain?

Pink swirl cookies

Pink swirl sugar cookies

Pink swirl sugar cookies

Yield: 40

Ingredients

  • 125g (4.4oz) butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups plain AP flour
  • Pink gel color
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat them through.
  2. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl and beat them through too until the dough comes together.
  3. Remove half the dough from the bowl and set it aside. Add the food colouring to the dough left in the bowl and beat it until the colour is even.
  4. Lay two big sheets of baking paper on the bench and place a ball of dough on each one.
  5. Lay a sheet of baking paper over the top of the dough and roll each one out into a large rectangle.
  6. Place the pink dough on top of the white dough.
  7. Trim the doughs so they form a perfect rectangle and then very gently, from the long side, roll them together using the baking paper as a lifter.
  8. Keep the off-cuts and use them to make marble cookies.
  9. Pour the sprinkles onto a large tray and roll the dough log in the sprinkles.
  10. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it, resting in two glasses, for at least 2 hours. Alternatively the dough can be frozen for later use.
  11. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F) fan-forced and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  12. Cut the dough into 1cm thick pieces and place each slice on the lined tray leaving at least 2cm between each one.
  13. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they start to turn golden at the edges.
  14. Leave them to rest on the trays for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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