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 daughters were little. They make any cookie platter more festive with their candy cane shape and colors.
I've updated a few of the photos this year. They're so stinkin' cute! You'll want to make these a holiday tradition too! The dough is very forgiving. Make them as big or little as your heart desires. Mine are usually about 3 inchs in length after I twist the top to make the candy cane shape.
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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.