One of my favorite cookies to make each holiday season are the Candy Cane cookies. Yes, yes, I know I’ve said in the past that shortbread, sugar cookies, gingerbread etc are my favorite but right now, these are it! Hey, a girl can change her mind, right?
I remember my mom making these each year and I always looked forward to them! They melt in your mouth and have such a sweet taste…it’s hard not to eat them all in one sitting. I generally make red and white cookies but you can make green and white, green and red…blue and any other color under the rainbow that represents Christmas to you!
I’ve read recipes that use peppermint extract rather than almond. I’ve never tried, but I’m sure it tastes just as good!
I have a lot of great memories when it comes to these cookies! This year, my daughters helped me make them. One worked with me in mixing them (and saved me from adding the wrong type of sugar by accident) and the other helped me shape them. One thinks I added too much almond extract and the other says there’s not enough. One was disappointed I didn’t cover them with sugar and the other believes they are just right.
Apparently we all have different baking tastes. Go figure! At least one things remain the same…we all love melt-in-your-mouth cookies and we all love to bake. These cookies are being added to some tins I’ve been working on for our neighbor gifts…sure hope they like Christmas baking!
- I cup softened butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- 3 cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- lots of red food coloring
- Cream the butter and sugar together until it's soft (almost like frosting).
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Mix in egg, vanilla and almond extract.
- Mix in flour and salt slowly until it's all combined into a nice ball of dough.
- Divide dough into half.
- Wrap one piece in plastic and set to the side.
- The remaining half, place back in the mixer and add in the red food coloring while on slow. Add as much or as little as you like (my family likes the pink color, others might want them bright red).
- Wrap this section in plastic and chill both pieces for at least 1 hr (or up to 3 days). Chilling the dough makes it easier to shape.
- Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment (or a non-stick mat).
- Remove dough from fridge and pinch off jawbreaker gum ball size pieces (or 2 tablespoon) and roll into a thick rope. You'll want rope for both the red and non-colored dough.
- Pinch the two rope pieces together at the top and then gently twist them together. Transfer to the baking sheet and hook the top to create the candy cane shape.
- Note: if dough starts to break or becomes too malleable, chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Chill each baking sheet full of shaped cookies for 15 minutes before baking - it helps the cookies to hold their shape while baking.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Cool and try not to eat them all at once!
ps…one day I’ll learn how to take great baking images…it’s my goal for this year, trust me!