Maurice Lenell Pinwheel Cookies

Feeling a little nostalgic, these Maurice Lenell Pinwheel cookies are from Bruce’s youth. Bruce has fond memories of visiting his Aunt Jean and Uncle Bob and snacking on Maurice Lenell Bakery in Chicago. Christmas Pinwheel cookies were a favorite of his.

These Maurice Lenell pinwheel cookies are rolled up with a vanilla and a milk chocolate layer of cookie dough, and rolled in red and green sugar. The flavor will keep you baking these for every holiday season!

Two layers of cookie dough are rolled out, then layered and rolled into logs. After a nice chill in the fridge, they are rolled in red and green sugar. This gives them the bright color and a tasty crisp edge. Slicing them with a sharp knife while they are ice cold is key to keeping the shape round. 

What you will need to make these cookies:

  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Almond extract
  • Chocolate chips


Red and green and chocolate cookies and milk with red and white straws

Maurice Lenell Pinwheel Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour
Course: cookies
Cuisine: pastries
Keyword: christmas cookies cookies
Servings: 72 cookies
Author: theperksofbeingus


  • This recipe is for 2 batches of cookie dough: one vanilla and one chocolate MAKE 2 BATCHES OF THE BELOW COOKIE DOUGH for these Maurice Lenell Cookies
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

Add in for the chocolate batch:

  • 4 oz. melted chocolate chips we used milk chocolate, but you can use semi-sweet


Step 1 

  • Measure flour, salt, & baking powder out, set aside
  • Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition
  • Add in almond and vanilla extract
  • Add dry mixture and beat on low until just combined
  • Scrape dough out of mixer and form a ball
  • Split vanilla dough in half, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Step 2:

    For Chocolate Layer: Repeat above recipe and then add in chocolate:

    • Melt milk chocolate in microwave on half power checking and stirring every 30 seconds
    • Add melted chocolate into dough, and mix
    • Split dough in half, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

    Step 3

    • Roll out each ball of dough between parchment paper forming a rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick
    • You will have 2 vanilla, and 2 chocolate rectangles
    • Gently pull top parchment paper off of each of the cookie doughs
    • Lay the chocolate layer on top of the vanilla layer
    • Repeat this with 2nd set of cookie dough
    • Roll each roll into a tight roll (think cinnamon rolls!)
    • Roll one roll in red colored sugar and other in green colored sugar
    • Wrap in plastic wrap and return to refrigerator for at least 30 minutes

    Step 4

    • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
    • Bring rolls one at a time and re-roll into fresh colored sugar for a double coating!
    • Slice into ¼ inch slices and place on cookie sheet, spacing at least 1 inch apart

    Step 5:

    • Bake 8-10 minutes, turning half way thru
    • Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire cookie rack
    • Keep in a covered container
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

    Looking for more cookie recipes? Check these out!


    Please go check out all of our friends cookie recipes!


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    Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

    Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.


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      • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

        theperksofbeingus Reply

        Hope you enjoy!

        • P cook Reply

          My favorite cookie from my youth…but…how much chocolate did you add?

          • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

            theperksofbeingus Reply


            Thank you for your response! We just added that into the recipe: 4 0z. of melted chocolate chips. We used milk chocolate because I like that, but you can use semi sweet! Thank you so much for your time to let us know this! We hope you make the and enjoy them as much as we do! Happy holidays!

            Bruce and Dina

    3. Pam Reply

      WOW! Just made these. Perfect! Thanks for the memories! Merry Christmas

      • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

        theperksofbeingus Reply


        That is awesome! So glad you like them! They sure bring back memories! Have the best Holiday!!

        Dina and Bruce

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