If I had to choose one treat that absolutely has to be made during the holiday season in my home it would be Candy Cane Cookies. My mom has made these every single Christmas as long as I remember. I always loved helping her roll, twist, and pinch the dough for form the perfect candy cane shapes. We would unwrap peppermint sticks and put them in a plastic zipper bag and my mom would let me use a mallet or hammer to crush them up into peppermint sprinkles! Now, with four children myself, these cookies are a tradition in my home!
This year we made them alongside A Connected Christmas after reading The Legend of the Candy Cane, which is a heartwarming story that shares the symbolism of a candy cane and how it could relate to the birth of Jesus.
Candy Cane Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1½ teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon red food coloring
- ½ cup peppermint candies
- ½ cup sugar
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg, almond, and vanilla extracts. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add flour to the butter mixture. Divide dough in half. Mix the red food coloring into 1 portion. Cover and refrigerate both doughs for about 2 hours.
- Shape 1 teaspoon plain dough into a 4-inch rope. Shape 1 teaspoon red dough into a separate 4-inch rope. Place ropes side by side; press together lightly and twist. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, curving top of cookie down to form the handle of a cane. Repeat with remaining plain and red dough, placing cookies 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 375°F for 8-9 minutes or until set. While cookies are baking, place candies in a sealed Ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin or frying pan. Combine the crushed candy and sugar. Remove cookies from the oven and sprinkle warm cookies with candy mixture. Remove to wire racks to cool.
This is just one of the many hands-on connections included in A Connected Christmas.