Finnish Pinwheel Cookies (Joulutorttu)

Walking the fine line between a cookie and a tart, the Joulutorttu is a favorite holiday treat found in bakeries and homes across Finland. The traditional recipe calls for a prune preserve filling, but we opted for a bright, boozy cranberry and ruby port reduction. 


Finnish Pinwheel Cookies (Joulutorttu)
Makes about 24 cookies
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (227 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (225 grams) ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) whole milk
  • Cranberry Port Preserves (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, cold butter, and salt; pulse until mixture is crumbly. Add ricotta and milk, and pulse until dough comes together. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Shape each portion into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 3 rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper.
  3. Working with one disk of dough at a time, roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a 3-inch square cutter, cut dough, and place on prepared pans. On each square, make 4 (1-inch) cuts at corners diagonally toward center. Place 1 teaspoon (7 grams) Cranberry Port Preserves in center of each cookie. Fold every other tip over toward center, forming a pinwheel. Dab ends of tips with water to help adhere and prevent separation during baking.
  4. Bake until edges are just barely golden brown, 11 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on pans. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Cranberry Port Preserves
Makes about 1 cup
  • 2 cups (210 grams) frozen cranberries, thawed
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) ruby port wine
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat. Mash cranberries, and reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes. Pour mixture into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and let cool completely. Refrigerate any leftover cranberry preserves for up to 2 weeks. (Leftover hot preserves can be transferred to sterilized jars, water bath processed for 10 minutes, and stored for up to 6 months.)



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