This is a great project to involve your kids in! There are bright colors and getting your hands dirty and it’s very easy.
So this idea came from my 5-year-old who saw something similar online. We made some adjustments for the way we like to cook, but the idea is the same. You’ll start with a sugar cookie mix in our version though you can also use your favorite roll-out sugar cookie recipe.
We chose Valentine colors for our swirl cookie, but you could use other colors for various holidays. You could color the outside layer too if you wanted to add even more color to the combination. It’s all about process.
As is often the case in cookies we add the E-Z Gel in order to help the cookie be workable, but tender and so it will keep for a few extra days. I find this particularly important if you’re going to use a mix. Those dry out SO fast.
Valentine Swirl Cookies with E-Z gel
1 package sugar cookie mix – 24 cookies
3 Tablespoons E-Z Gel
1 cube butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine mix and E-Z Gel and mix well. Add all other ingredients and mix until incorporated and smooth.
Split dough in half. Set aside white chunk. Split remaining dough into several pieces and add food coloring. Powdered or gel colors are best as they won’t add additional moisture to the chunk. You may need a little flour on your hands as you work the color in. This is a great place for kid help. Food coloring will wash or you can always have them put on food gloves before working with the dough.
Once the balls are colored lay them out in long ropes in the color pattern you want. Cut the ropes in half and lay side by side so you have a square of colored dough. Roll this square out into a long rectangle. This is easiest between two pieces of waxed paper with a little flour – don’t add too much flour or the cookies will be tough. Roll out the white dough on its own sheet of waxed paper, trying to make the two rectangles as close to the same size as possible. Chill this for 10 minutes as well.
Lay the colored dough on top of the white dough – removing sheets of waxed paper from between them. And roll lengthwise. Trim the ends. DON’T throw the ends away. They are still cookies! Just set them aside to bake with your swirls and use for taste testing.
Wrap dough roll tightly and chill for 1 hour. Don’t skimp on this or it will be much harder to cut.
After one hour remove the dough from the fridge and unwrap. With a very sharp knife cut the dough into rounds. Bake rounds on parchment paper covered cookie sheets for 6-9 minutes at 375 degrees. Edges should be very pale brown.
Cool and consume!