This is a modified Eating Well recipe from their Winter 2005 issue. The dough is a little sticky and tricky to work with so arm yourself with a little patience..I promise the result is worth it. Definitely Christmas cookie tray worthy!
To prepare filling: Combine dried and fresh cranberries, honey, orange zest, cinnamon and cardamom (or allspice) in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and cook, stirring, until the fresh cranberries burst and soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor and puree. If the mixture seems dry, stir in up to 2 teaspoons water. Transfer the mixture to a non-reactive container and refrigerate while preparing the dough.
To prepare dough: Whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cardamom (or all spice) in a large bowl. In another large bowl, butter, sugar, honey, eggs, milk, orange zest, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat the wet ingredients with an electric mixer first on low speed, then on medium speed, until well combined. Add half the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just incorporated' Stir in the remaining dry ingredients with a wooden spoon until evenly incorporated. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, stir in up to 1 tablespoon more milk. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 to 45 minutes to reduce its stickiness.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a 6-Inch- long log. Working with one log at a time, center it on a 16-inch-long sheet of baking parchment or wax paper. Cover with a second sheet. Press and then roll into a 12-by-15-inch rectangle of even thickness, inverting the dough occasionally to roll out any wrinkles and patching it to make the sides as even as possible. Transfer the dough, in the paper, to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining log of dough and transfer to the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the dough is slightly firm, about 15 minutes.
To prepare pinwheel rolls: Place one sheet of dough on a work surface. Peel off the top sheet of paper. Spread half the reserved tilling evenly over the dough (it will be a thin layer). Working from a 15-inch-long side, tightly roll up the dough jelly-roll style, leaving the bottom sheet of paper behind. While rolling, slightly stretch out the center to yield an evenly thick roll. Wrap the roll in a clean sheet of wax paper, twisting the ends to prevent unrolling. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough and place on the baking sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 3 to 4 hours.
To bake cookies: Position racks in the upper third and center of the oven; preheat to 350°F Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one pinwheel roll at a time, trim the uneven ends. Cut the roll cross wise into 1/4_inch_thick slices using a large ser rated knife; periodically turning the roll to maintain a relatively round cookie shape. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them ½ inch apart. Bake the cookies until puffed and barely golden brown, 12 to 16 minutes, switching the pans back to front and top to middle halfway through the baking. Transfer the cookies to wire racks immediately to cool completely. Cut and bake the remaining pinwheel roll.
AHEAD: Cover and refrigerate filling (Step 1) for up to 2 days. Tightly wrap pinwheel logs (Step 4) and freeze.
for up to 2 months, Do not defrost before slicing. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to I month.
These cookies boast a bright zesty filling and spicy aroma. They make a large batch and are extremely convenient, since you can make the logs of cookie dough ahead, then pull them out of the freezer and slice and bake as many cookies as you need.