My second-favorite Christmas cookie - right after shortbread, are these Candy Cane cookies. Those of you who know me have seen them before ;) They are a light and flaky cookie with a hint of almond flavor. The crushed candy canes give them that unique holiday taste. I've been making these since my '20 Something' daughters were little.
This recipe comes from a 1972 cookbook called Betty Crocker's All-Time Favorites.
Candy Cane Cookies
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
½ cup shortening
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red food coloring
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Heat oven to 375 F. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, confectioners’ sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla; blend in flour and salt. Divide the dough in half and blend food color into one half.
For each candy cane, shape 1 tsp of dough from each half into a 4-inch rope (for smooth, even ropes, roll the dough back and forth on a lightly floured surface.) Place the ropes side by side and press together lightly; twist. Place on a Silipat or parchment-lined baking sheet and curve the top of each twist to form the handle of the cane.
Bake about 9 minutes or until set and very light brown. Mix candy and granulated sugar (food processor works best); sprinkle on the hot cookies when they come out of the oven. Allow to cool on sheet at least 5 minutes before trying to remove.
Makes about 4 dozen.
Note: I usually double this recipe because I like the canes a little larger. If making separate ropes is too time-consuming just take a little less than a tablespoon of each color dough together and roll them into a rope together, then, holding onto one end of the rope twist the other side to swirl the colors.