Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pinwheel Cookies: Because Car Accidents Suck

There are two important facts you should know before you read this post.

First, car accidents suck.

Second, I am only capable of doing one thing to help people who have hit rough times. That one thing is baking for them.

These peanut butter-chocolate pinwheel cookies are a testament to those facts. My friend got in a car accident. She’s OK, but was understandably quite mentally shaken. I understand that, because about six years ago, I was driving from New Mexico to DC and was delayed when a loading ramp flew into my car.

I still have that car. But it was a rough experience, and I sure could have used some cookies. Cookies like these peanut-butter chocolate pinwheel cookies. So if you have a friend who gets into a car accident and escapes physically unharmed but needs a pick-me up, here’s the recipe you need.

Chocolate Layer Ingredients (as adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cups sugar
1 egg, beaten and divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4c unsweetened cocoa (Scharffen Berger)

Whisk dry flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl, set aside. Mix butter and sugar in a mixer set to medium speed until fluffy, slowly add half the beaten egg until well combined, then add the vanilla and cocoa powder and mix until uniform. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until smooth.

In case you didn’t recognize it, this is very similar to the dough for the very-delicious brownie roll-out cookies. To prepare the dough to become pinwheel cookies, roll it about 1/8” thick using Gail’s trick of rolling the dough between two sheets of parchment paper.

Let this layer, should be about 8 ½”x13”, chill in the refrigerator. Then get to work on the peanut butter layer.

Peanut Butter Layer Ingredients (as loosely inspired by Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

¼ tsp baking powder

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup sugar

Reserved beaten egg from chocolate layer

¼ teaspoon vanilla

Whisk dry flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl, set aside. Mix butter, peanut butter, and sugar in a mixer set to medium speed until fluffy, slowly add half the beaten egg until well combined, then add the vanilla and mix until uniform. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until smooth.

More rolling.

And measuring to make sure they layers were fairly evenly matched. Once you’ve done that, place the chocolate layer on top of the peanut butter layer, parchment side up, and remove the parchment paper.

As you can see, it’s hard to make the layers perfectly matched in size, but you can squeeze at the edges to improve the situation.

Press down on the chocolate layer to adhere the layers together, and chill in the refrigerator for about five minutes. Working from one of the long edges, roll the dough into a cylinder.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze for one hour. Remove from the freezer, and cut into ¼” discs.

Bake dough on parchment-lined sheets at 350° F for 13-15 minutes. Cool (briefly) before eating.

Delicious chocolate and peanut butter in beautiful pinwheel form. It would have cheered me up after I drove from Tucumcari, NM to Washington, DC with my car like this.

Have you ever baked for somebody after they had a car accident? What did you make them?


  1. Those cookies look awesome!
    My dad's car just broke: maybe I'll bake these for him!

  2. I've spent the night in Tucumcari; it's a happening place. Glad the District Chocoholic lived to bake again another day...and her friend also.

  3. Sympathies to your friend! It's wonderful that she isn't hurt, but accidents are such horrible experiences anyway. You're a wonderful friend to calm her nerves with choc and pb :)

  4. You're the bestest:c) As were the cookies!!!!

  5. I might have to pretend a friend was in a car accident to make these. They're so pretty and sound fantastic!

  6. @fitchocoholic You should make them for him - if he likes chocolate and peanut butter, they'll be perfect.

  7. @Anonymous I can't say I concur on your assessment of Tucumcari. I spent a lot of time sitting and staring at the wall. Though I am also glad I lived to bake another day.

  8. @Simply Life Thanks! The rolling makes the chocolate and peanut butter blend nicely.

  9. @Hannah Is there any better way to calm your nerves? Really?

  10. @Jessica @ bake me away! You can just make them - it's totally OK. I promise.

  11. Lovely cookies! Glad to hear your friend is okay!

  12. @Tracy I was also thrilled she was OK. And these cookies are pretty to look at, aren't they?

  13. I made a variation of these today, I had a half quantity of this dough leftover, so I just made the peanut butter layer from your recipe. Very rich and yummy!

  14. Very cool! Glad you liked them - of course, how can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter?

  15. Thank you for sharing the info. I found the details very helpful.


  16. You are such a sweet friend! I'm glad that your friend was not seriously hurt from the accident. I wish you were my friend too so I'd have someone to bake me cookies if I get into an accident.

  17. I'd get into in an accident for these peanut-butter chocolate pinwheel cookies! LOL. But honestly, I feel sorry for your friend, Victoria. What matters is that he's okay and was able to crunch those cookies. So how's your car now? What were the damages?

    Erwin Calverley

    1. "Oh my, I'm sorry about what happened to your car, Victoria. Is your car insured? I hope so. :) It can be a big help with the major repairs, you know.

      Sorry, Erwin, but I would not risk my life over some peanut butter chocolate cookies...unless they are pinwheel cookies, though. Haha! :P"

    2. Absolutely Kerstin. I wouldn't either. :P With that being said, good luck, Erwin! Haha! Don't get me wrong, I love cookies too, Victoria. :) I just hope your car's doing okay now. It's been quite a long while since the accident. So what really did happen after the accident? Did your friend have to sue?

  18. My sister makes these at Xmas so now I want to and it's stressing me out just reading the directions. Too much work for me. I will try them when I'm not so busy. After Xmas maybe, lol.