Chocolate Spice Pinwheels

Fall is in the air, and for some people that means pumpkin spice everything. While I do enjoy the pumpkin spice blend, it can wear out its welcome fairly quickly. The trick when using it is to use a light hand. You can always add a little more in, but you cannot undo if you put too much in a dish.

Chocolate spice pinwheels

I have a wide range of ingredients in my home pantry, and have developed a fondness for playing with flavors. This cookie evolved out of a shortbread recipe that I like; I added two types of cocoa and pumpkin pie spice blend. My suggestion is to add the amount of spice in the recipe, taste the dough, and add a little more (not more than 1/2 teaspoon at a time) until you get the level you like.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour*
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons black cocoa**

Whisk together flour, spices, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour/spice mixture a third at a time and beat until well combined. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl now and then.

Split the dough equally into three bowls. Add the cocoa to one and the black cocoa to another. Mix well.

Carefully roll out the one of doughs into a rectangle on a piece of parchment or wax paper until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Take one of the other doughs and roll it out the same way. It should be the same size as the first dough. Carefully flip the second dough on top of the first. Reuse the parchment/wax paper and repeat with the remaining dough.

Gently press down on the stacked doughs to make sure there are no air bubbles, and get the edges lined up. Starting with the long edge closest to you, carefully start rolling the dough into a log. One way is to pick up the edge of the paper and use that to guide the dough. It also helps keep you from getting as sticky.

Once you have the dough rolled into a long loaf, carefully wrap with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone sheet. You can bake the cookies without either of these, but it does make for easier cleanup if you use them.

Remove the dough log from the refrigerator and slice about 1/4 inch thick. Place on prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2-2 inches apart, and bake for 8-10 minutes (or until the lighter dough is golden brown).

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. If you use two pieces of parchment paper, you can just slide the whole thing onto a rack and use the second sheet to get the next batch in the oven.

* You can use any nut flour in this recipe instead of the almond flour. If you don’t have any, or have a nut allergy, you can use all-purpose flour for the full amount.

**If you don’t have two types of cocoa, you can use powdered peanut butter for one of them. You can also split the dough into two bowls instead of three and increase the cocoa to 5 teaspoons.

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