Cookies Desserts

swirl sugar cookies recipe

think pink ::::


I’ve caved into the pink and traditionally girly colors of babies and girls after Peach was born and fully embraced with Sky-Girl, recounted in my angel food cupcakes with mascarpone frosting and watermelon-coconut breeze posts. So when a room mother asks for help with making pink baked goods for Peach’s first grade teacher, I don’t balk or snicker, I gladly find a pink sweet to share.

These swirl cookies seemed duly appropriate with their pink and the design. The swirl symbol signifies many things, the overarching meaning being that of change and progression, a primal force, and unrestraint. Such is the birth of a baby, a maelstrom of emotions and physicality yet so delicate and innocent, the swirl is mutable, it is feminine, it is spirit. And so, these cookies are the ultimate baby shower cookie for a baby girl. And almost fail-proof are these cookies, like the perfect buttery skin of a new babe.

Follow along with photos to help create your swirls. To start, after mixing, dividing, and kneading in color in one half, chill the dough in a convenient shape.


An 8×8-inch pan can pre-form your dough while chilling.

Roll your two colors of dough out between parchment paper, and place one on top of the other:


Roll to create the swirl:


Encrust that swirl in rainbow dots! Because babies!


Even out the diameter with gentle rolling, chill, then slice to reveal your labor:


Baby shower cookies, complete!


Perfection. Unrestrain. Continuity. And sugar.



One year ago: hembesha

Two years ago:  savory sesame seed monkey bread and sugared rosemary bread

Three years ago: pina colada sorbet and quick chickpea red pepper soup

Four years ago: ginger brown sugar soda sundaes, ricciarelli, and pasta with zucchini, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes


Swirl cookie recipe and assembly help from lots of sources, though mostly from

swirl sugar cookies recipe
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Food coloring, whatever color you desire. I used a Wilton gel color, but the liquid type or reduced beet or berry juice work.
  • 1½ bottles of rainbow sprinkles (approx 3 ounces total)
  1. MIXING: Measure and sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl or in mixer bowl with paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and the sugar. Once smooth, add the eggs, vanilla and combine well.
  3. Add the dry flour mixture to the butter / egg mixture, but by bit. Mix until the dough is smooth.
  4. Divide the dough into two equal halves. Using the food coloring you chose, knead in a few drops for your desired color.
  5. Using an 8x8-inch or similar pan, lines the bottom with plastic wrap, then evenly press in one of the dough halves. Cover with plastic wrap then press in the other half. Chilling in this square shape makes the dough easier to roll out later. Chill for at least an hour, though overnight works. You can freeze the dough here too.
  6. ROLLING: If you chilled the dough more than an hour, allow it to warm very slightly to encourage better roll out. Choose one of your chilled squares and commence. Another helpful tip: roll between long pieces of parchment. This keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin, obviates the need for any extra flour, and provides an easy transfer method (we'll get to that later). Roll to between ⅛- to ¼-inch thickness. Roll to about a 10x17-inch rectangle. I'm guessing here as I eyeballed it; just go with the thickness and aim for a rectangle shape. After this roll out is done, do the other square in the same manner, so that it is about the same size. Keep the first rolled out dough chilled flat while you do the second dough.
  7. ASSEMBLY: Strip off the top parchment from your colored and non-colored doughs (and set the paper aside for the baking sheets later). Brush your colored dough ever-so-slightly with some water. Now, as gracefully as possible, flip the non-colored dough onto the the colored, lining them up fairly well. Using the rolling pin, gently roll them together to help layers stick.
  8. Trim the edges to line them up. (Save the scraps to bake separately, as tasters.) Starting from the long edge, start rolling to the two layers together. If the middle of the roll looks thicker than the ends, don't worry. Once you have completely rolled up the layers, you can gently roll the entire log to even out the diameter.
  9. Keep the dough log on the parchment and sprinkle the parchment with a bottle of the rainbow sprinkles. Roll the log into to sprinkles, totally encrusting it. Use another half bottle of sprinkles, if needed. The log now looks like a rainbow-colored Gila monster.
  10. Roll the colorful log up into the parchment, transfer to large baking sheet, and place in fridge for 3 to 4 hours. You can also freeze the dough here.
  11. BAKE PREP: Using a very sharp knife, cut cookie rounds just less than ¼ inch thick. Place on baking sheet with previously used parchment you saved, spacing 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.
  12. Bake in the center of a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for approximately 8 to 11 minutes (depending on cookie size and your oven temperature). When the cookie surfaces are matte looking, they are done. Don't overbake or they will be hard. Allow to rest on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.


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