Fireworks, parades, picnics, deviled eggs, BBQ, swimming pools or sandy beaches and spectacular patriotic desserts are the perfect recipe for the 4th of July! July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States only since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes all the way back to the American Revolution and the 18th century. In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence.
Cookies are a fabulous way to celebrate Independence Day or any random Wednesday works too! To make the celebration even sweeter, these cookies only require a bit of food coloring, a few simple steps and some store-bought sugar cookie dough.
First, buy a roll of sugar cookie dough. (Did I mention this was simple?) Cut the dough into three even sections. Refrigerate one of the sections, well wrapped in plastic wrap or in a plastic sandwich bag. Let the other two sections sit on the counter for 10 minutes until the dough starts to soften a bit. When the dough is a bit soft, place each section in it’s own quart size plastic bag. Add two TBLS of flour to each bag. Massage the flour into the dough until it’s well combined. I like doing the dough in plastic bags because it cuts down on the mess and the kids can help without their little hands getting flour coated and colored with food dye.
Once the flour is well incorporated into the dough, add red food dye to one bag and blue food dye to the other. I used 8 drops of Wilton’s Color Right Base Red and Base Blue to create the color for the cookies. The great thing about these cookies, and Wiltons Color system, is you can make the pinwheel cookies any colors you wish! They could be pastel colors for a baby shower, or make them to match a wedding party or your favorite sports team! The possibilities are endless!
Massage the colors into the dough inside the bags. It may take a while for this to look like it’s actually working, but trust me, it is! The dough will be very soft when you’re finished, but that’s ok!
When the dough is an even color and the shade you want it to be (add more drops for a darker color, fewer to make it lighter) place the dough, still in the bags, in the refrigerator for two hours.
After two hours, carefully remove all three sections of dough from the bags and roll each out to an 8×12 rectangle. If you do this on wax paper, it will make the next steps easier. Once each section is rolled out, carefully place the rectangles on top of each other.
As you can see, my dough didn’t line up perfectly. That’s fine though. Beginning with the long side, carefully roll the dough into one big log, just like a cinnamon roll. Once the roll is together you can cut off the edges that don’t match. Wrap the dough well with plastic wrap and put it back in the refrigerator for another two hours.
About 10 minutes before you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and using a very sharp knife, cut the cookies into 1/4 inch slices.
Place the slices two inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. These cookies will spread, so be careful. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully. You don’t want them to get brown!
Let the cookies sit for two minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Now, gather your friends and family and CELEBRATE!
Enjoy! Happy 4th of July!