I’m starting to feel the holiday cheer, and there’s no better way to welcome the season than Christmas cookies! Instead of stressing about presents we haven’t bought yet and travel plans that aren’t set, let’s take an evening to relax and bake cookies for friends and neighbors. They’ll love you, you’ll love the cookies, this is a win-win all around.
Candy Cane Cookies are both adorably festive and a delicious change from most of the heavy cookies this time of year. The shortbread-style cookie is flavored with vanilla and a hint of almond, set off beautifully by the peppermint sugar topping.
These are especially perfect to make with kids. Even little ones can help roll out the dough, and they’ll love smashing the candy canes and sprinkling sugar on top. Set a plate out Christmas Eve and they’re guaranteed to be gone by morning!
Twisting the canes together can be tricky, since the dough is on the dry side – but no matter how messy they might look at first, they puff up beautifully in the oven. Even better, the peppermint sugar melts onto the fresh-from-the-oven cookies and covers any imperfections.
I can’t imagine a better winter evening than curling up by a fireplace with a plate of these cookies and thick snow falling outside. Turn on some holiday music, put on your favorite apron, and sing along as loudly and off-key as you want because this is a baking party.
- 1 cup shortening chilled
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 t. almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. red food coloring
- 3 candy canes crushed
- 1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine shortening, sugar, egg, vanilla, & almond.
Add flour & salt and mix just until combined. Dough will be very crumbly; add a tablespoon or two of water if needed.
Divide dough in half. Color half with red food coloring.
Tightly wrap each color in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Roll 5" strips of each color. Twist together and shape into a cane.
Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes.
Mix crushed candy canes & sugar. Sprinkle cookies generously as soon as they're removed from the oven.
The shortbread-like dough is crumbly, especially before refrigerating. The red dough will be more pliable thanks to the food coloring. If you’re having a hard time rolling it out, just wet your hands or add a little water to the dough.