Easy Homemade Rainbow Pinwheel Sugar Cookies
We finally saw the movie Coco and the bright colors inspired me to make these homemade sugar cookies with some rainbow flair.
The movie came out in November, but we generally wait until movies hit our local dollar theater. ( I hate spending $12 or whatever the ridiculous cost it is to go to a movie…and that’s before popcorn!)
Anyway, something that I noticed about the movie was the colors! The film is centered around the Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead, and the colors throughout were incredibly vibrant. So, even those these cookies don’t scream Disney or Coco, the movie is what inspired me to create a colorful homemade sugar cookie.
I started with a really basic and easy sugar cookie dough that doesn’t even need to be chilled before handling!
I found this dough recipe from Katrina, a fantastic food blogger over at In Katrina’s Kitchen. I had tried no-chill sugar cookie dough before and it just seemed too sticky. This dough was perfect and came together quickly.
First, cream together your butter and sugar.
(Side note: I use the paddle attachment on my KitchenAid mixer. If you don’t have one of these, I highly recommend making the investment if you bake often.)
I used unsalted butter but had just pulled it out of the fridge. When I fail to plan ahead like this, I tend to zap it in the microwave for just about ten seconds to take the chill off and get it a bit softened. Don’t melt it!
Add your vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg.
I actually never really measure my extracts. I used two capfuls of vanilla and one capful of almond. If you don’t have almond extract, it’s fine…but it definitely helps take the cookie to a new level.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
I sifted these ingredients together because my flour had been sitting in the canister for a while…and I had a sifter I felt guilty about not using. However, this step is probably unnecessary. There is a nice article over on the Kitchn about whether or not you really need to sift.
Slowly mix the dry ingredients with the wet. The dough will get really thick, but my mixer worked it in very well.
Divide the dough into 3 different bowls, and use the food coloring to individually color each set of dough.
I used neon pink and blue food coloring and a standard yellow, inspired by the main colors in the Coco movie poster.
Take three chunks off of each color of dough and form into one smaller ball, about the size of a ping-pong ball.
It is important to remember to not over-blend the dough. Otherwise, the colors will mix together and not be as vibrant.
Using your hands, roll each tri-color ball of dough into a long coil.
Twist the coil into a pinwheel-like shape and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until cookie is slightly dry around the edges and/or brown on the bottom.
It’s okay if it doesn’t look quite done. Sugar cookies tend to come out very soft in the middle and come together as they cool. Overcooking will make them crispy.
They came out soft and the perfect amount of ‘chewy.’ Even my gluten-sensitive self took a nibble. I may regret it later, but it was yummy! My kids LOVED the colors, I loved that I didn’t have to waste hours chilling the dough, and the dough is perfect for cut-outs!