To prepare ginger dough, place 1/4 cup butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes). Add molasses and egg yolk; beat until well blended. Weigh or lightly spoon 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6 ounces flour, ginger, and next 4 ingredients (through allspice); stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
To prepare lemon dough, place 5 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended (about 3 minutes). Add egg white; beat until blended. Beat in rind and vanilla. Weigh or lightly spoon 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6 ounces flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
Unwrap ginger dough. Roll ginger dough between sheets of plastic wrap into a 13 x 8 1/2–inch rectangle (3/16 inch thick); chill 10 minutes. Unwrap lemon dough. Roll lemon dough between sheets of plastic wrap into a 13 x 9–inch rectangle (3/16 inch thick); chill 10 minutes. Carefully stack ginger dough on top of lemon dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along one long edge. Starting with the long side without a border, roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion. Seal edges (do not seal ends of roll). Cover with plastic wrap; freeze 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Unwrap dough. Cut with a sharp knife into 40 slices (about 1/4 inch thick). Reshape rounds, if necessary. Arrange slices 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, 1 batch at a time, at 350° for 8 to 9 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
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I made this a few years ago and thought it tasty. But rolling the doughs together was really tough -- as others have noted. Instead of doing that I suggest and plan an alternative. I'm going to roll the two doughs out into rectangles. Then cut each in half lengthwise and stack them alternating the lemon and ginger. To make cutting easier I freeze the dough for an hour or two.
Nice, light, fresh. Not overly sugary or spiced. And as much as I love chocolate, let's face it, you can be a little inundated with it in cookies, especially around the holidays.
It is a little bit of work. I find that they don't roll nicely, nor could I slice it thin enough to get 40 cookies out of it.
I was so surprised to see negative reviews on this recipe! It's one of my absolute favorite cookies, and I make it all the time to great reviews from family and friends. The lemon and ginger flavors work beautifully together, and the cookie is so pretty! I do usually add the juice to the lemon dough along with the zest, but that is my only change. To make it easier, I make the doughs the day before I want to use them, then roll them up and bake them the morning of. I never bother to roll them into perfect rectangles (usually odd ovals), and the cookies still look just like the picture once they're done.
Followed the recipe exactly, except for adding extra spices and lemon rind. Even so, I could not taste the ginger at all, but that is a personal preference.
The real problem was that these have the hard texture of a dog biscuit. They are either excessively crunchy or simply tough, depending on whether you actually bake them long enough to be "lightly browned" (I tried it both ways, hated both results). I was able to get them to look reasonably attractive, but they are just not worth eating.
I think it doesn't call for baking powder because that would muddy the pattern, but it REALLY needs it. As-is, they're a waste of time, ingredients, and calories.
I agree with the reviewer who stated the cookies seemed stale even right after baked. My cookies were hard as rocks. I kept re-reading the recipe to find baking powder or soda which I think would have majorly helped with texture/lightness issues. I broke my teeth on them and I did follow the recipe EXACTLY.
I was disappointed with the texture of these cookies. I thought they were too hard. The flavors were mild and okay, but the cookies seemed stale, even when freshly baked. This recipe is too much work for a cookie that is not a showstopper. (Would not have minded all the steps if the cookies had been great, but they weren't.)
My daughter made these for Christmas and I thought they were excellent! I don't understand the comments about the flavor. It's totally subjective. I thought the lemon/ginger balance was fine. If you want more lemon flavor, add it, but don't complain there's not enough in the basic recipe. Also, pinwheel cookies are as tedious to make as they look. If you don't want to make a complicated recipe, that's what box mixes are for. Last, if the recipe doesn't work for you, and it does for others, you might consider that you did something wrong. This recipe is FINE! If you'd like one that is a pain to make and has almost no flavor, I'd be happy to give you one!
I really liked these cookies. They were not to sweet, and had a great mix of flavors. I didn't have problems with the recipe, and I thought that the lemon dough tasted like a lemon dreamcicle. These are one of those cookies that grow on you. Each time you eat one you love it more and more.
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