Citrus Ginger Swirl Cookies

Minnesota State Fair

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Citrus Ginger Swirl Cookies

If you want a super creative, one of a kind ginger cookie, this recipe for Citrus Ginger Swirl Cookies is for you! Orange zest, lemon zest, molasses, and fresh grated ginger are just a few of its key ingredients. You also get a hints of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. A pinch of cayenne rounds out the list of spices used.

Citrus Ginger Swirl Cookies are from our Minnesota State Fair winning cookie archives. Recipe credit goes to Patrice Johnson who created this recipe for a creative cookie contest we organized for Gold Medal Flour. She won 1st place with it in 2015.

Citrus Ginger Swirl Cookies Close Up

Patrice originally named the cookie “pinchies” after her ginger colored cat. These creative sweet treats are impressive in more ways than one. Their design is wonderfully whimsical. Fresh ginger and an inventive mix of ingredients give them a complex yet perfectly balanced flavor. Nice work Patrice!

Besides being a culinary delight, they also have creative artsy look to them which we love.

Citrus Ginger Swirl Cookies aka Pinchies

Bake like a blue ribbon winner and give them a try.



p.s. If you’re a big citrus fan like I am, be sure to try these simple orange cookies. They’re flavor really pops also.

Citrus Ginger Swirl Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature for about 30 minutes

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg yolk, beaten

3 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour + 1 tablespoon, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest from 1 orange (about 1/2 teaspoon)

zest from 1 lemon (about 1/2 teaspoon)

2 tablespoon molasses

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground)

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch cayenne powder


To prepare dough: use standup mixer with paddle (or handmixer) to cream butter on low speed for about 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn mixer to low and add yolk; add milk  and mix well. In small mixing bowl whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture and continue beating until dough forms.

Divide dough in half (there will be just over 2 cups total). Add half dough back to mixing bowl along with vanilla, orange zest and lemon zest. Mix until incorporated. Form dough into ball and wrap in plastic; set aside. Place remaining dough in mixing bowl along with 1 tablespoon flour, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cayenne. Mix until incorporated. Form dough into ball and wrap in plastic. Note: dough will be very soft.  Chill both dough balls at least 30 minutes.

Place parchment over work surface and roll each dough ball into a 8×5-inch rectangle 1/4-inch thick. Place one dough rectangle over the other, aligning the dough as perfectly as possible. Starting at one of the narrow ends of the dough, use the parchment paper to gently roll the dough into a spiral, stopping a little more than halfway up the rectangle. Flip dough upside down and roll the other end into a spiral so that dough resembles an S-shaped log. Wrap in clean plastic and chill at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice chilled dough into 1/4-inch thick slices (will total about 16 S-shaped cookies). Place on parchment lined baking sheets about 1-2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes or until evenly browned on bottom. Cool on rack.

Patrice says the recipe size is perfect for small families. She adds that you should bake a double batch if you have a larger number of cookie lovers in your crew.

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