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When I spotted these cookies on Pinterest, I thought I’d struck gold. Beautiful swirled cookies with store-bought cookie mix and food coloring? Yes! Please! Of course, as I find time and time again, lots of the recipes on Pinterest have certainly been made and blogged in a child free kitchen, where everything can be controlled. I have made these cookies twice now, both times with kids, and I have a few suggestions after making several mistakes. This is in no way a difficult recipe, but I figure I can share my mess ups so everyone else can have perfect, Pinterest worthy cookies the first time.

And yes, this can absolutely 100% be done with the help of kids. It’s fun and the end result are some really neat cookies that would make good party favors (in lieu of fake tattoos and yet another unsharpened pencil).

Suggestion 1: Chill the dough. This is the most ridiculous mistake, seeing as how whenever I make a cookie that has to be rolled into a ball or cut out, I always chill the dough. You see, once you food color the dough, roll it into balls twice, form a rope and coil it up, the dough is almost soupy. Both times I made it, I was in the thick of it with the girls and we all just wanted to rush ahead and get them baked. Best though to chill the dough, it will help make the cookies more puffy like the original recipe and it will help with the forming of a rope.

Suggestion 2: Food color is in more than one place. You’ve gotta search for it. I couldn’t’ find neon food color. I checked the area with the baking cups, frosting, sprinkles and regular food coloring. I even checked the Easter aisle. Then, my friend Lauren plucked neon food coloring off of the spice rack. So, if you can’t find it where you would expect it, go over to where they sell all the other spices and check for it toward the top, with the vanilla. Otherwise, you can just use regular. I did, and the cookies tasted just the same!

Suggestion 3: Don’t get food coloring on the counter. I got some on Lauren’s counter (which she is just now reading for the first time). The solution: blot, do not wipe, the drips. Then make a paste of baking soda and water and dab onto drip. After 30 seconds, rub the paste around with your finger and it *should* lift the stain.

Pinwheel Cookies

  • 1 package store bought sugar cookie mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • neon food coloring
  • sprinkles
  • wax paper or parchment
  1. Make the cookie dough according to package directions (for cut out cookies). Add 1 tsp of vanilla (this is what makes them taste straight outta the bakery).
  2. Divide the dough into 5 equalish portions and color with the food color. You can use a spatula or spoon to mix the color in or your hands. If you use your hands, just be sure to wash in between colors.
  3. Cover the dough and chill 30-60 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment.
  5. After chilling, line your counter with wax or parchment paper and make 10-14 smaller balls (think somewhere between a marble and a 25 cent bouncy ball). Then, take one ball from each color and roll them together to form a larger ball. It will look like a beach ball.
  6. Roll the large ball out into a rope, about 12 inches long (if that looks to thin to you, don’t make it as long). Coil the rope up like a snake and dip the edges in sprinkles.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are firm. Baking time will vary depending on how big you make them. Let cool 1 minute on cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Why did it never occur to me to color the cookie dough, instead of the frosting, before this minute?

The original recipe uses the small ball like sprinkles. I had these. I used these. The cookies tasted fine, thanks.

This whole process is a little like playing with playdough. In fact, that's how I explained it to my girls, so they'd get the techniques faster.

Finished product. Looks pretty cool, right? Think about how much better yours will look since you've read this post and I've made the mistakes for you!

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