Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Candy Cane Cookies

On a Facebook group I follow, a local woman shared her grandma's recipe for candy cane cookies. I decided to give a go at making them to give as Christmas gifts for the neighbors. They were fun to make, looked super cute, and tasted buttery and delicious. I couldn't get the peppermint candy pieces to stick, but I think the cookies looked better and tasted better without them anyway. The only other change I'd recommend is using less almond extract, as I thought it was a touch overpowering (my husband, on the other hand, liked the almond flavor).

The directions that are italicized are my additions.


2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (I think 1/2 tsp would be enough)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring (or as needed)
1/2 cup coarse sugar 
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies (optional)

1. Stir together the flour and salt. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, mix shortening, butter, powdered sugar, egg, and flavorings.
3. Stir half of flour mixture into shortening mixture. Work in remaining flour mixture with your hands until dough holds together.
4. Divide dough in half. Blend red coloring in half of dough.
5. Divide each half into four balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 375.
6. Make two strips of two colors, side by side. Make like a rope.

My picture of my cookie dough rope:

7. Cut into pieces approximately 6 inches long.  Curve tops like love handles (Those are the grandmother's words, not mine!).

Here's my picture of the cut sections:

8. Bake nine minutes at 375 degrees.
9. While warm, remove from sheet and sprinkle with mixture of crushed candy and sugar (I preferred just the sugar without the crushed peppermint candies).
 10. Enjoy! Also, you will gain weight (Again, her grandmother's words and not mine! Ha!).

Once cool, I packaged them up in some plastic wrap, tied them with a ribbon, and attached a gift tag. All together, this made ~20 cookies for me, but some were very fragile and broke. Thankfully, I had some helpers who were willing to eat those broken ones ;-)

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