Christmas cookies are always a favorite with Southern Living readers, so it is little wonder that this recipe for Basic Butter Cookie Dough became a holiday favorite. Ellender Mills of Raleigh, North Carolina, sent in this recipe, which ran in December, 1995, and described how she divided the dough into quarters, adding different flavorings, frostings, and garnishes to each quarter to create a wonderful assortment of Christmas cookies. The basic recipe alone bakes up a delicious batch of cookies, but with this variation for Pinwheels, you can easily create a cookie that is sure to catch Santa's attention. A little unsweetened chocolate added to this signature dough, and you've got a swirly treat. If you love a good Christmas cookie, we bet you'll be filling decorative cookie tins, boxes, and jars with these Christmas pinwheel cookies as gifts throughout the holidays (along with our other festive cookies!). Any way your cookie cutter cuts them, you can't beat the taste of Christmas cookies for the holiday season. Make a batch of the Basic Butter Cookie Dough and divide it into fourths. The recipe for Pinwheels will use just one fourth, and you can freeze the remaining portions for other cookie variations.

Ellender Mills


Credit: Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe Summary test

3 1/2 dozen


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Divide Basic Butter Cookie Dough in half. Knead melted unsweetened chocolate into 1 portion until well blended.

  • Roll each portion into a 12- x 9-inch rectangle on wax paper. Invert chocolate dough onto plain dough; peel off wax paper. Press chocolate dough firmly onto plain dough with a rolling pin. Roll up, in a jellyroll fashion, starting with the long side; cover and chill 1 hour or until firm.

  • Cut the dough into 1/4-inch slices; place on lightly greased cookie sheets.

  • Bake at 350˚ for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.