The dough was easy to work with, firmed easily in the refrigerator, and rolled out smoothly. The only draw back was the red food coloring...red food coloring stains! I used a high quality gel coloring (also used for cake decorating) and by the time I had put the food coloring in the ziploc bag to knead the color into the dough (as the recipe suggests) I had it on my hands. One tiny drop of red food coloring stains hands and sink with little difficulty. Red food coloring stains! The red dye ended up on the plastic baking sheet where I rolled out the dough (on parchment even), on a kitchen towel, on my hands, on the countertop, in the sink and just about anywhere else that even the tiniest drop of food color landed. Did I mention...
The cookies were delicious. The first day or two they were soft and then by day three were a crispy coffee cookie. Mmmmm.
They received rave reviews from the entire family, and presented impressively enough that I even took a few over to a new neighbor.
I'm certain that I'll make these again, though I'll likely find a new method for mixing in the red food coloring!
CHERRY ALMOND PINWHEELS
1 recipe Basic Pattern Dough**
Red paste food coloring (I used gel)
1/4 C ground almonds
several maraschino cherries
1. Divide Basic Pattern Dough in half. Tint one dough poriton with food coloring. Knead almonds into other poriton. Cover and chill dough poritons for 1 hour or until firm. Divide each portion in half.
2. On lightly floured tea towel (I used my pastry mat), roll a red dough portion into a 12x8 rectangle. On waxed paper (parchment), roll an almond dough portion into a 12x8 rectangle. Invert almond rectangle over red rectangle; peel off paper. Roll up, starting from a long end. Pinch to seal. Wrap in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining portions. Chill 1 or 2 hours or until firm (I skipped this last chill step due to time and since my dough was still fairly firm)
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Remove one roll form the refrigerator. Unwrap: reshape, if necessary. Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (I used thread). Place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Place cherry piece in center of each slice. Bake in preheated over 8 to 10 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
**BASIC PATTERN DOUGH
3/4 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
Beat butter 30 seconds. Beat in sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Beat in egg, and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Makes about 2 1/2 cups dough.