Saturday, December 17, 2011

Candy Cane Cookies

I've been very excited to post this recipe. It's an old family recipe that I used to make with my Nana every year. They bring back great memories and make the house smell like Christmas.

This is, in my opinion, the perfect Santa cookie. You ought to make them pretty close to Christmas Eve, not because they won't keep, but because, well, how much self control do you have? Don't answer that. I know my answer to that question...and it isn't pretty.

Hence I have saved half the dough for baking later in the week.

These are a bit time consuming, but they are lots of fun to make with friends or with kids. Shaping the dough into candy canes is the fun part anyway! And how cute are these as an addition to your cookie tins? Let's face it, they are a Christmas must. (At least they are at our house!)

Candy Cane Cookies
makes about 4 dozen

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. red food coloring
1/4 cup crushed candy canes
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Combine crushed candy canes and granulated sugar in a small bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg and extracts until well combined. Reduce speed to low, gradually mix in flour and salt until a fairly stiff dough forms.

Divide dough in half, color one potion of dough with food coloring. Using about 1 tsp. of dough per side, roll one piece of each color into a rope and twist together to form a candy cane shape.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Immediately sprinkle sugar mixture over hot cookies. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

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