Cranberry Pinwheels

cranberry pinwheels

Alright already!  Enough not-so-subtle hints dropped about my Mom's cranberry pinwheels!  Sheesh.  It's fun pretending I'm annoyed, but my Need to be Needed tendencies love it.

My Mom's been making some version of these cookies on our Christmas baking day for a few years now.  This year, she used fresh cranberries and pecans.  Other years, she's used dried cranberries and pistachios.  I can't decide which I like better.

December usually finds a bag of cranberries in the fridge or freezer and you are probably sick and tired of all my cranberry recipes. Sorry.  They're not over yet.  Does anybody else stalk Foodgawker?  It's the website that showcases photos from food blogs.  Certainly there are lots of seasonal things on there--squash, apples, cranberries--but I'm always amazed at the preponderance of completely out-of-season things like fresh raspberries or asparagus.  a) Expensive b) Very low flavor c) Huge carbon footprint d) I'm a snob.  I'm no locavore (I could never do without lemons and olive oil, for instance), but asparagus?!  I'll save that for spring and then make a whole meal out of it.  Gives me something to look forward to.

For now, in the bleak of winter, these bright berries show up everywhere.  And I promise I'll lay off the cookies once 2010 dawns. Unless, of course, you beg me to keep going.

mom in my kitchen

Cranberry Pinwheels
I was in the kitchen when my Mom made these this year, but didn't watch her and haven't made them myself.  They are always ambrosial, but I'm not in a position to give any special tips.  Mom?  Bethany?  You want to chime in?

1 cup fresh cranberries
1 c pecans
1/4 c brown sugar
1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tsp orange peel
3 c flour

For filling: Combine pecans , cranberries, and brown sugar. Pulse  in food processor until nuts are finely chopped. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat butter for 30 seconds, then add sugar,baking powder and, salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and orange peel. Beat in as much flour as you can. Stir in any remaining flour with a spooon. Divide the dough in half,cover and chill for a hour or until easy to handle.

Roll one ball of the dough between pieces of waxed paper into a 10" square to and spread cranberry filling to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Roll dough into a log.  Moisten edges to seal. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 4 to 24 hours. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Preheat oven to 375. Cut rolls into 1/4" slices and place 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 min. or until edges are frim and bottons are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 min. Transfer to wire rack; cool. Makes about 60 (don't believe it).

P.S. My Mom made a quick icing for the cookies pictured.  Sift 1 c. powdered sugar into a bowl, then whisk with 1 Tb. milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk to reach desired consistency.  Drizzle over cooled cookies.