Friday, September 23, 2011

Pinwheels Cookies, The Cookiepedia Review and a Giveaway


My Mom was staying with me when my hubby was out of town for a few days last week.  It was one of the relaxing afternoons, with no plans of going out but just hung out in the kitchen.  We wanted to bake something together, then relax and enjoy the afternoon at the backyard with a cup of tea.  So, we were flipping through The Cookiepedia, searching for something fun to make. 


It didn’t take long for us to decide and we had a winner.  There were many classic and fun cookie recipes in this book, but the pinwheels really caught my eyes (pun intended).  These pinwheels looks whimsical and I know my little boy would enjoy them as much as we did when he returned from school.


“Full of delightful hand-drawn illustrations and mouth-watering full-color photographs, The Cookiepedia, by Stacy Adimando, features delicious recipes and inventive variations for all the cookies everyone loves, from Amaretti, Butter Balls, and Chocolate Spritz to Gingersnaps, Rugelach, and Snickerdoodles, as well as dozens of other favorites—more than 50 in all.”  


There were many things I love about this book.  I summarized them into ten main points:

1) Hard cover—I intended to use this recipe book over and over again and the durability is important to me.  I don’t know about you, but I had some other cookbooks that I used so often that the cover is coming off.

2) The spiral binding—This let the middle pages of the book stay opened easily, without having to press hard and winkle the pages.  Imagine your recipe book stay nicely opened on the book holder (if you have one of those fancy thingy) or on your counter top, making it easier to read.


3) Mouth-watering full-color photographs—Don’t you want to know how the end-products supposed to look like?  That’s how the Pinwheels caught my eyes!  Winking smile Don’t people always say a picture is worth a thousand words?

4) Easy to follow instructions—Very important in any recipes book. 


5) Tips—Tips in this book are very helpful.  Some gave me the “ah-ha” moments.

6) Variations—These are all classic cookie recipes that we all familiar with, in The Cookiepedia.  It’s fun to try the original, but then it adds a little more excitement with the variations added. 


7) Note space area next to the recipe—I love writing my own notes on recipes.  Weather it is the variation I made on a recipe, or an idea for a tweak I wanted to try next time; the note space to me is a thoughtful gift from the author to the end users.

8) Personal experience—On each recipe, Adimando added a little background of the the recipe.  Some are her own childhood memories, some are the experiences she had with that recipes, some are just facts about the cookies.  I love reading those little stories and memories.  The stories made it more personal than just a recipe book.


9) Varieties—From Italian Biscutts, Chocolate sandwich cookies, to fig bars and Molasses Spice Cookies, the variety is broad and for sure you’ll find something you like.

10) I love and adore cookies, period.  I mean, who doesn’t?  Do I need a better reason to love this book?  Winking smile

This Giveaway is now closed.  Winner will be announced shortly.  

Rules for the Giveaway:

With the courtesy of Quirk Books and Stacy, one lucky reader (with an U.S. mailing address only) will have a chance to win a copy of The Cookiepedia.  Must be a public follower/member through Google Friends Connect to participate.  (See the right hand side bar under “Follower” with the button “Join this site”).  You have until September 30th, 12 midnight PST to enter this giveaway.  Winner will be announced and contacted via email shortly after the giveaway is closed.

Mandatory Entry: 

Simply leave a comment and tell me what your favorite cookie is.  Or you can describe if you like your cookies buttery, crunchy, or chewy?  Or how much you love cookies!  Let's have a cookie talk, shall we?

Additional Entries: (you can do any or all of the following, just leave a separate comments for each entry)

1) “Like”’s Facebook page.  Here’s the link. 
2) Share this giveaway with your friends on Facebook.  Please include the link to this post when you share.
3) Follow on Twitter.  Here’s the link.
4) Tweet about this giveaway.  Please include my Twitter handle @utry_it and the link to this post in your tweet.
5) Subscribe to my blog via email.  You’ll receive an email to verify the subscription.  
6) Subscribe via RSS feed.

Good luck everyone!

These Pinwheel cookies are whimsical and perfect for gift-giving for the holiday season.   I'm entering this to the Holiday Recipe Swap.  Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Beanilla.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of The Cookiepedia free of charge for the purpose of this review. I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are 100% my own and always will be.

Pinwheels: (from The Cookiespedia) Printable Recipe
Makes 4 Dozen Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Get to work sifting the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.  Set it aside for the moment.

Cream together the butter and sugar for several minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Start tipping in the flour a third at a time; stop mixing when it’s just combined.  When the dough forms, divide it into two parts.  Reserve one half in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge.  Mix the cocoa powder into the other half using a spatula.  Form the chocolate dough into a disk. wrap in plastic wrap, and chill both doughs in the fridge for at least 1 hour, until firm.

Roll out the chocolate dough to about 1/4-inch thickness, using just a little flour as needed.  Move it to a large piece of parchment paper.  Do the same with the vanilla dough, flattening them to around the same height and dimension.  Place the vanilla dough on top of the chocolate and run a rolling pin lightly over the two doughs to press them together.  Trim the doughs into a rectangle shape so they each have the same edges.

Starting at one of the short ends, carefully roll the dough up into a log, using the parchment paper to help.
Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for at least an hour.  Do the same with the reserved pieces of dough.

Line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Unwrap the log and slice it into cookies about 1/4-inch thick using a very sharp knife.  Lay the cookies on the sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until you start seeing hints of edges turning golden.  Remove and let cool for a minute, then spatula to a wire rack.

This Recipe is Shared with:
I'm lovin It
Friday Favorites
Sweets for Saturday
On the Menu Monday
Mouth Watering Monday
Tuesday Talent Show
Homemaker Monday
These Chicks Cooked
Sweet Treats Thursday


  1. I've been a follower. My favorite cookie is chocolate chocolate chip.

  2. I'm already a follower, but I love talking cookies. My favorites are the spicy ones (gingersnaps, snickerdoodles, etc.) but I'm not one to say no to a cookie of any type ;)

  3. I've Liked your Facebook page :)

  4. I am a happy follower, Amy, and I love all cookies, buttery, sugary, crispy, chewie, if it is a cookie, I will like it! xo,

  5. I'm a follower! I just love the nestle chocolate chip cookie recipe on the chocolate chip bag. It's the best one and I like my cookies hot and gooey out of the oven, yum!

  6. Your cookies look great Amy! Thanks for the fun give-away, I'm a follower. I love crunchy cookies! Actually, I love all cookies, but crunchy ones best:@)

  7. I just shared your giveaway on Facebook - hope you get a great turn-out!

  8. Hooray, I'm a follower! Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway.

    I love that the book has all the cookies pictured, the fact that the book is spiral bound, and that there's room to write notes next to each recipe (my cookbooks are full of my handwritten notes).

    My favorite cookies... that's a hard one. It's a toss up between crispy/chewey thin chocolate chip cookies by Shirley O. Corriher, or really chewy chocolate wafer cookies which won a Martha Stewart contest many years ago.

    You did a great job with the pinwheel cookies!


  9. I LIKE you on facebook! Your cookies are perfect! Love the book~the photos and graphics look great!

  10. I love cookies! Chocolate chip are probably my favorite. Looks like a perfect book to add to my collection!

  11. I'm a follower and my favorite cookies are snickerdoodles!

  12. I'm already a follower. I love all types of cookies!!

  13. My favorite cookies are classic peanut butter cookies. I rarely make them, because they're detrimental to my waistline. I have no willpower. Thanks for hosting this terrific giveaway!

  14. I've been a follower :o) And I love chewy cookies...well...I like hard ones dip into hot tea or coffee...

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (I've been out of the loop, and havent even gotten a post up since Sept 9th! But am so happy that I came by in time for your cookbook giveaway!... I love, love, love cookbooks!)

  15. Entry #2 I already "like" your fb page :o)

    Blessings & Aloha!
    ( fun that your mom was able to hang out with you for a few days :o)

  16. Your cookies made me reminisce our kitchen's aroma when I was growing up...sniff! sniff! I'll definitely try this recipe!

  17. Your pinwheels look fabulous. We loved this cookie book and I plan to give a few as gift this holiday season.

  18. I can't resist my mom's brown butter chocolate chunk cookies. Well, at least that's how she describes them to me. I just know they taste like chocolate speckled love.

  19. I love peanut butter cookies, with chocolate chips.

  20. My favortie cookies are the ones I make from tollhouse with extra vanilla extract, grade AA extra large eggs, and chopped walnute, pecan and hazlenuts added in:)

    Every cookbook ought to have those ten things you listed, Amy!

    Happy Sunday to you, and thanks for the Giveaway.
    I already subscribe to your RSS feed.

  21. I have to admit those Thin Mint cookies the Girl Scouts sell might be at the top of my list. But a close second is a hot, chewy chocolate-chip cookie.

  22. Nice cookies :) Perfect for a snack! :)

  23. The recipe book looks wonderful and so functional with the spiral bound pages! Beautiful!

    Amy, your pinwheels are perfect and I'm so glad you had such a great afternoon baking with your mom! You are blessed. xo

  24. How nice that your mom got to spend time with you, Amy. Your pin wheels look so pretty and look so delicious...Christine

  25. I am a cookie fanatic and am so excited about this giveaway! Your pinwheel cookies look fabulous - and I'm drooling over the other Cookiepedia pictures, too. My personal favorite is chocolate chip - crispy on the edges and soft in the center. But really, I don't think I've met a cookie I didn't like! :-D

  26. I love this cookbook and would love to own it. My favorite is any soft chewy cookie. We follow you on twitter too!

  27. I have an awesome sugar cookie recipe...cant resist!

  28. “Like”’s Facebook page. done

  29. Subscribe to my blog via email. You’ll receive an email to verify the subscription.

  30. What a gorgeous book! Too bad, I'm not qualify for it. However, love your pinwheel cookies.
    Thanks again.

  31. I'm an e-mail subscriber, too! Now I'll never miss a post :)

  32. Beautiful cookies and photographs! Delicious! Thank you for linking up your recipe, review and giveaway!

  33. I love these cookies! I have just baked them for Christmas! Thank you for recipe!

  34. @Mirka: Lovely. I'm glad you love the cookies. :) You're very welcome, as always. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  35. Thanks for the info, this sounds like a really great book that would make a good addition to my collection. And those pinwheel cookies certainly look fun and tasty!

  36. I really love making cookies from scratch. I have like a half dozen cookie cookbooks already, but this one sounds like it would be a good addition lol thanks for the post!

  37. Book holder is indeed one of the good fancy thing that a bookworm should have. This will make the reading experience more comfortable.