Sunday, December 18, 2011
Christmas Candy Cane Cookies
Candy Cane Cookies have been a long-time tradition in my house. They started the year my son was born, thirty-nine years ago! When he grew up, I continued to make them and shipped them to him. Seems like I’ve sent them every Christmas, but I can’t swear to that.
This December my baby boy is celebrating his 21st year in the United States Air Force. Congratulations, Senior Master Sgt. His candy canes are packed in little tea tins and ready to pop in the mail tomorrow along with a few other goodies.
I know there are all sorts of recipes out there for these cookies, but I give full credit to Betty Crocker. Thanks Betty...
1 cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon each vanilla and peppermint flavoring
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
red food coloring
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut parchment paper to fit cookie sheets. Best to use parchment so you don’t have to scrub the cookie sheets after baking each batch.
3. In large bowl, cream 1 cup (save the 2 T. for later) sugar and the softened butter.
4. Mix in milk, egg and flavorings.
5. Whisk together in medium bowl: flour, baking powder and salt. Add to liquid ingredients and mix well.
6. Divide dough in half and color one with the red food coloring.
7. Form long rolls with each color. I usually make up the cookie dough a week or two ahead of time, roll it up, wrap it in plastic and foil, and freeze it until I’m read to bake and mail.
8. Cut each roll into 16 pieces. Roll each piece separately to desired size; twist two colors together, place on cookie sheet and curve one end. Leave plenty of space around each cookie.
9. Bake 8 minutes, remove pan from oven. Sprinkle each cookies with a mixture made of 3 tablespoons of crushed peppermint candy canes and 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake 2 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool. At this point you’ll understand why I recommended using parchment paper. Not all the sugar and crushed candy stays on the cookies.
I forgot to count, but this recipe made 40 or 50 cookies.
Since I forgot to pick up some peppermint flavoring, I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
Experiment with the sizes and the way you shape your candy canes. Every year I seem to do them a bit differently. This year I took a piece of each dough, rolled them together, twisted them, and rolled them a bit more. Whatever works for you is okay.
Just to let you know what’s coming up, sometime, if I every catch up with my cooking... mushroom grilled cheese sandwiches, cranberry chocolate cheesecake, roasted butternut squash, and spinach brownies. That’s right, Spinach Brownies! A great appetizer for Christmas or New Year’s parties and not a drop of chocolate.
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