Tis the season! Cookies and Poinsettias! So why not Poinsettia cookies?
This recipe comes from a cookbook I’ve had for a long time called Short+Sweet by Gale Gand. What caught my eye was a way to make pinwheel cookies, using pastel sugars and popsicle sticks. A cute idea for kids’ parties or any summer get-together. But the note about poinsettia cookies really caught my attention, and I knew this would be a great Christmas cookie.
The dough is straightforward: cream cheese, butter, and an egg yolk creamed together. To this, mix in flour and baking powder.
Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. The dough is refrigerated for at least an hour, but up to 2 days before rolling out.
When ready, roll out the dough, divide in half and place one portion back in the fridge while you roll out the other. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangular shape, measuring 15×9 inches. Trim irregular edges with a knife or pizza cutter. Then, cut the rectangle into 3-inch squares.
Place the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet (Note: the original recipe says to use an ungreased baking sheet but I experienced a lot of “sticking” of the baked cookies to the pan. When I switched to parchment paper, it worked much better)
Each dough square is brushed with an egg white wash. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the dough diagonally from each corner to within ½ inch of the center of the square.
If preferred, these squares can be stored between sheets of wax paper refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to two weeks. I just went with the next step and baked the same day.
Sprinkle one teaspoon of colored sugar evenly over the whole square.
Then, fold in every other point of the square to the center, forming a pinwheel, overlapping the corners at the center and pressing down gently to seal.
Press an M&M in the center of the pinwheel, covering the folded-in points.
Repeat with the remaining squares (*Pro tip: Remember not to snack on all the M&Ms before completing the cookies).
Bake for 9 to 12 minutes (Note: I needed the whole 12 minutes) until dry and very light golden.
I had fun with the colors on these. Red sugar with a green M&M seemed perfect for a Poinsettia, but I also like the all-green sugared versions. I think they give a nice contrast and still look very festive on the plate.
I also like the option of making team colors. Since I’m from Wisconsin, these, naturally, are “Packer Poinsettias.” GO PACK
- 12 TB unsalted butter 1 ½ sticks, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 large egg separated
- 2 cups flour all-purpose
- 1 TB baking powder
- 1 cup colored sugar
- *About 30 M&M candies No snacking until cookies are finished!
- Mix the cream cheese, butter, and egg yolk until smooth, then add the flour and baking powder. Mix until well blended and form into a disc. Wrap disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to 2 days).
- Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough into a 15×9 inch rectangle. (Return remaining dough to the refrigerator). With a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, trim uneven edges from the dough and cut the rectangle into 3-inch squares. Place the squares at least ½ inch apart on parchment paper-lined sheet pans.
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Lightly whisk the reserved egg white and brush one dough square all over with the egg white. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough diagonally from each corner to within ½ inch of the center of the square.
- Sprinkle one teaspoon colored sugar evenly over the whole square. Fold in every other point of the square to the center, forming a pinwheel, overlapping the corners at the center and pressing down gently to seal. Press an *M&M (Hope you’ve got enough!) in the center of the pinwheel, covering the points. Repeat with remaining squares.
- Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, until dry and very light golden.
- Repeat with reserved dough to make approximately 30 finished cookies.
- Store finished cookies between wax paper layers in an airtight container. Cookies will stay crisp and tasty for about 4 days.