1. Make gingerbread dough: In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses until smooth. Beat in egg yolks until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten slightly; chill until firm but pliable, about 1 hour (or freeze for 30 minutes).
Make plain dough: In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture until well blended. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten slightly; chill as directed above.
2. With a lightly floured rolling pin on a lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, roll out gingerbread dough into an approximately 12- by 15-inch rectangle. Slide dough, on waxed paper, onto a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet. Repeat to roll out plain dough and chill both doughs until slightly firmer, about 10 minutes.
3. Carefully invert gingerbread dough over the plain dough, lining up edges as evenly as possible. Remove waxed paper from top of gingerbread dough. With a sharp knife, cut rectangle in half lengthwise to make two 6- by 15-inch rectangles. Transfer one of the rectangles to another sheet of waxed paper. Let stand about 10 minutes to soften slightly.
4. Starting at long edge of one rectangle, lift waxed paper to roll doughs into a tight, even cylinder. Repeat to roll other rectangle. Wrap rolls in plastic; freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Unwrap rolls and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Lay cookies flat, 1 inch apart, on buttered 12- by 17-inch baking sheets.
6. Bake cookies in a 325° regular or convection oven until edges just begin to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. If baking multiple sheets in one oven, switch positions halfway through baking. Transfer pinwheels to racks to cool.
Nutritional analysis per cookie.
Store cookies airtight at room temperature up to 3 days; freeze to store longer.
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