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Pinwheel Sugar Cookies to Celebrate the 4th of July!

Sugar cookies are the best festive dessert. People often say the best recipes are those that have been handed down generation to generation. Or in this case, stranger to stranger. The paper recipe (yes I am old school, when it comes to some of my recipes) is so weathered, with stains and the paper has a texture that only the oils from your fingers can give. It is a well loved recipe. This cookie sugar cookie recipe was handed down to me 16 years ago and it has served me at every Christmas tradition. But any chance I have an excuse to make them, I do. Valentine’s day and even the 4th of July. We will call this the pinwheel sugar cookie recipe and I cannot wait for you to try them!

How I got the recipe…

My husband started a tile business many years ago and one of his first clients made a “killer” batch of cookies. Kyle and his helper raved and raved about the cookies so much, the customer handed this paper recipe over with a kind gesture of “I know you love these cookies so much”. This is the same recipe I have in hand today, can you tell?

The proof is in the cookie….

This is a sugar cookie recipe that you can decorate and design for any occasion. I’ll start by saying that they are a soft sugar cookie with a slight sweetness, until you add that frosting. The frosting is a game changer! I prefer to use large cookie cutters for this recipe. The edges will not burn as easily and it makes for a flaky yet chewy texture that you cannot resist.

Important tips for the best sugar cookie:

*Let the butter and cream cheese soften *You can use any where between 5- 8 oz of cream cheese. The more cream cheese to softer the cookies. But I like to use 5 oz. It gives the cookie a perfect chewiness to it but it doesn’t fall apart when you grab it. *Let the dough chill. If you don’t, it is incredibly sticky and difficult to move to the cookie sheet and it is super messy. * Watch the cook time closely. Pull the cookies when they are starting to turn golden brown.

The Sugar Cookie Recipe:

1 cup sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup of margarine or butter, softened 5-8 oz of cream cheese, softened 1/2 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp almond extract 1 egg 2 1/4 cup flour

Eight simple ingredients plus frosting of your choice!

In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, butter, cream cheese, vanilla, almond extract and egg. Blend well. Lightly spoon in flour into a measuring cup and level off. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill dough for 60 minutes (the freezer can help speed up this process). I changed this from the original recipe because after 30 minutes, the dough is still so tacky. Place the dough in the fridge for an hour, you’ll be glad you did.

The almond and vanilla smell amazing!
I like to roll my dough in a ball with Saran wrap and then refrigerate.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness.

Make sure to give that roller a good coat of flour, so things don’t get sticky!

Cut into desired shapes with large cookie cutters (the size of the cookie changes the length of time these need to cook. Large cookie cutters allow this cookie to turn out soft with just a slight crunch, yet soft). Delicious! Place cookies 1 inch apart on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Don’t over cook, just a very light browning is enough.

Let cool and then the fun part begins… frosting and decorating. My favorite frosting for these cookies is Duncan Hines Creamy Homestyle Buttercream. But I needed a frosting that was a pure white, so today I selected Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Vanilla Frosting.

Now for the fun part…

Give each cookie a smooth coating of frosting.

Think as smooth as possible!

Then using your small decorating frosting alternate the blue and red in a bulls eye pattern on the cookie. These pinwheel sugar cookies are about to come to life!

Think Bullseye!!!

Using a toothpick, hold the toothpick in the center of the cookie, barely touching the frosting. Pull the toothpick to the outside of the cookie. Then wipe the excess frosting off the toothpick and alternate by placing the toothpick on the outer rim of the cookie and work your way in to the center. Think of how you cut a pie or pizza, same concept, just making sure to alternate the direction. This is what makes that beautiful pinwheel sugar cookie pattern.

Pinwheel Sugar Cookie: Think cutting a pizza but alternating the direction with each slice.

Voila! You have a beautiful pinwheel sugar cookie, ready for festive consumption! In case cookies aren’t your thing, I have included another link for a great American Flag Cake that is also fabulously festive for the 4th of July holiday just around the corner.

Done! you’ve completed the pinwheel sugar cookies recipe!

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