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Candy Cane Cookies

When I was a little girl, I remember making this recipe with my grandma every year. It wasn't until I was in college and on my own that I started baking cookies to bring home for the holidays. This was one of my first go to recipes that I would bake. This recipe is not like the updated version of these cookies that contain milk and just don't taste like the very popular cookies from the 1980's and 1990's. This is the classic candy cane sugar cookies recipe that my grandma uses and that is hard to find now days. Candy cane sugar cookies are a very fitting dessert for the holidays. They make a beautiful presentations at the dessert table and are sure to bring back old memories!
Servings 30

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon red liquid food coloring (can use red paste food coloring)

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl fitted with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar just until creamy. Separate eggs and add the egg yolks. Add vanilla and almond extracts and beat until combined. Sift flour mixture then add the flour mixture, in three additions, and beat until you have a smooth dough.
  • Remove half of the dough from the mixing bowl. To the remaining half add the red food coloring and beat on low speed until well blended. If you find the dough too soft, cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  • Take a walnut sized piece of red dough and a walnut sized piece of white dough. Separately, roll each color on a lightly floured surface, into a 4-5 inch (10-12.5 cm) long rope. Place the two ropes side by side, gently press together, and twist the two ropes to form a spiral. Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Shape each cookie into a cane shape by bending one end into a hook shape. (If you find the cookies a little soft, place the baking sheet (with the unbaked cookies) in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before baking.)
  • Crush peppermint candy canes to garnish before baking. Optional***
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in center of oven.
  • Bake cookies for about 8 -10 minutes or until set and the edges of the cookies are just starting to brown. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cookies cool completely on baking sheet.
  • Cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. May be kept in an airtight container in freezer for up to a month.

Notes

**Crush peppermint candy canes to garnish before baking.
***Cookies may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. **May be kept in an airtight container in freezer for up to a month. *Peppermint extract may be used (1/2 - 1 teaspoon) to give it more taste. **Recipe can be doubled. ***Use red, green, brown food coloring for holidays.