Friday, December 9, 2011

A Christmas Tradition: Candy Cane Cookies

The holiday season- a time that embraces the smell of pine, the crispness of a winter breeze, the comfort of hot chocolate by a fire, the sight of a brightly lit tree, the melodious sounds of carolers, and the taste of candy cane cookies of course!

Every year, my friends and I come together during the holidays to bake this delicious treat. Although this dessert requires more effort to make than your typical slice-and-bake cookies, the end result is worth the extra exertion.

The hardest part of making these cookies is rolling the dough ropes into a shape of a candy cane. My friends and I found it was easier to twist the dough into straight “canes” rather than actual canes that bend. We also got creative and began to make twisted candy cane hearts amongst other figures. We had a lot of fun while making these cookies, and I encourage you to enjoy the process as much as we did by listening to Christmas music, wearing cute aprons (if you’re a girl), drinking sparkling cider, and just enjoying the company of your friends!


1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red food coloring
1/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes
1/3 cup sugar
1 package mini candy canes


1. Cream shortening and butter in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is fluffy.
2. Add the following ingredients and mix well: powdered sugar, egg, almond extract, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, and salt.
3. Divide the dough equally into two separate piles.
4. Choose one of the piles and add red food coloring to it. Make sure you the dye is evenly spread throughout the dough.
5. On a lightly floured surface, role a teaspoonful of each type of dough (plain and red) into 4 ½” long ropes.
6. After rolling out all of the dough, carefully twist a red rope and a white rope into the shape of a candy cane.
7. Repeat procedure with the remaining dough.
8. Put cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes or just until the edges begin to brown.
9. For the candy cane sugared topping, open up the package of mini candy canes and begin to break them apart.
10. Put the candy cane pieces into a food processor and grind them until they form a fine solid powder that resembles sugar.
11. Add sugar to the mixture of crushed candy canes.
12. When the cookies are done baking, immediately remove them from the oven and sprinkle them with the candy mixture.

Enjoy! But don’t forget to share with your friends and family!

-Carissa Gilbert

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