Culture

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 2

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For the next 12 days, Meghan will be bringing you recipes for a new holiday treat every single day. Part one can be found in the sidebar to your right.

Candy cane cookies were my childhood favorite, for obvious reasons. Anything with food coloring has an immediate advantage over all of the other, more boring cookies that don’t turn your hands new and exciting colors. Despite the fact that I liked making these because I could get my hands dirty, I was actually incredibly OCD about the cookies themselves and hated when there was extra dough of one color left at the end. This is still true, and I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten worse about it. The main benefit I get from baking alone is that no one can take a cookie from the middle of the tray and ruin the number of rows. But I digress.

This is another super easy recipe, perfect for making with children or during a group baking session. I actually almost never use peppermint candy for this because neither I nor anyone else in my immediate family likes mint things, but red colored sugar is also pretty to use as an alternative. So. You know. You’re allowed to do that.

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Candy Cane Cookies

1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 lightly beaten egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

2 ½ cups flour

½  tsp salt

½ tsp red food coloring

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the crushed peppermint candy and granulated sugar and set aside.

2) Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

3) Add in the egg, vanilla, and almond, and mix until combined.

4) In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the dough, mixing until completely combined.

5) Form the dough into two balls of even size. Place one half of the dough in a medium bowl and add food coloring, mixing by hand or with an electric mixer until evenly colored.

6) For each cookie, take a teaspoonful each of the red and white doughs and roll them into logs approximately 4” long. Twist the two logs together and bend into the shape of a candy cane.

7) Bake on an ungreased baking sheet on center rack of oven for 9 minutes. Immediately upon removing from the oven, while the cookies are still very hot, sprinkle with sugar mixture. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.