Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Delicious Honey Cranberry Pinwheels
Although it's Halloween, there is nothing scary about these cookies, folks! In fact, a case could be made that these cookies are actually good for you (well...perhaps we should say that they're not as bad for you). The dough includes whole wheat flour and canola oil and, according to the recipe makers, they clock in at only about 54 calories a cookie. The recipe comes from the Eating Well website where it has received rave reviews. I see why--they're tasty and chewy and they make a nice impression. Robert gives them his thumbs up! They were also well-received at the Friends of the B.F. Jones Memorial Library annual wine and cheese fundraiser last Saturday. :)
This makes a very soft dough especially for rolling, yet the canola oil makes the dough less sticky than you'd expect. Refrigerating the dough also makes it more manageable. Don't let the long list of ingredients deter you. The recipe isn't that complicated to make.
Honey Cranberry Pinwheels
1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (could use orange zest)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or allspice)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (or allspice if you used it in the filling)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons low fat milk
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon (or orange) zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
For filling: Combine all of the ingredients in a non-reactive* pan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Let boil about five minutes until the fresh cranberries pop and soften. Remove from heat and cool. Place in a food processor and process the filling until finely ground. Place in refrigerator while you make the dough.
For dough: Whisk the flours, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, honey, eggs, milk, zest and extracts and beat well. Stir in half of the flour mixture to incorporate then add the other half. (If you're using a mixture, switch to a wooden spoon when you add the second flour portion.) Stir to thorough combine, but don't over-mix. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to make the dough easier to work with.
To form the cookies: Take 1/2 of the chilled dough and place between two sheets of waxed paper (about 12 x 18 inches long). Roll out dough into a 12x15 inch rectangle. Place the rolled out dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to spread the filling on the dough. Remove top sheet of waxed paper and spread 1/2 of the cranberry filling over the dough--it will be thin (I used my hands to get the filling to the edges. With the long end parallel to the counter, use the waxed paper the dough is resting on to help you roll the dough into a tight, round log. Place the log on a clean sheet of waxed paper, roll it up and twist the ends to make the log as tight as possible. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least four hours (and up to three months**). Repeat with the other half of the dough and filling.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the roll and, using a long serrated knife, slice the cookies into 1/4 inch wide slices, turning the log as you slice to keep the cookies as round as possible. Place the slices on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes about 90 cookies.
*Non-reactive pans are stainless steel or enamel--not aluminum (or copper!)
**If you're freezing for an extended time, don't defrost before slicing the cookies.