Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Candy Cane Cookies

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We really enjoyed getting to spend time with our families, with friends at a wedding, and even a little bit of down time for relaxing. I am planning to share a few more of our Christmas gift ideas from this year through the rest of the week, and then it will be back to more normal posting.

I wanted to share one more cookie recipe, which happens to be my favorite Christmas cookie. I have actually talked to several people about this recipe lately, so it is finally here! Just a little disclaimer - these are not the easiest cookies. My guess is that I've been making them for 20 years now, so the time and effort they take seems like second nature at this point. They are just soooo good!!

Peppermint Candy Canes

1 c. sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 c. milk
1 t. peppermint extract
1 t. vanilla extract
1 egg
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt

Mix the sugar, butter, milk, peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and egg. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Divide dough in half. Color half red (about 1/4-1/2 teasp. of food coloring) and leave half uncolored, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

It is really important to color the dough before refrigerating because the dough is very stiff when its cold...in fact it is kind of like this:

And it takes a really long time to mix in the color, though eventually it will work.

After 4 hours, break off some of each color dough. I use about a handful, which is around 1/3 of the dough of each color. Roll each out into a long rope, about as thick as a finger.

Use just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. I try to work fast because the dough will get sticky as it warms.

Place the ropes next to each other and cut into about 4 inch lengths.

Grasp each end of a cut section in either hand and twist a few times. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and curl one end so that the dough resembles a candy cane. Garnish with colored sugar or candy pieces. I found these peppermint flavored candy canes that are perfect:

Bake for 9-12 minutes. Mine are usually done after 9, though they could go another minutes or two depending on how thick you rolled out the dough.

Usually I get the dough divided pretty evenly, but this time I had a little too much red....it still tasted amazing though.

These cookies turn out soooo soft and chewy. They pull apart and are just slightly golden around the edges when they are done.

They are irresistible...at least my daughter thinks so!

1 comment:

  1. they didn't turn out that good in Miami :( it is so warm and humid that the dough got sticky very quickly, and they seemed a bit heavier than usual. I'm going to have to save my baking days for after a cold front goes through!


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