I have been baking these cookies ever since I was old enough to roll the cookies into candy canes. This is one of the first cookies my mom taught me how to make and one of the first holiday cookies I taught my boys to make at Christmas. While they look a bit complicated, they are actually pretty easy to make. People love to get these for gifts at Christmas time. The trick is not eating them all before it's time to give them out as Christmas presents!
The first thing that you want to do is gather everything for your recipe, there is nothing worse than starting a recipe only to find out that your out of one of the ingredients. For these cookies you will need butter, flour, powdered sugar, eggs, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt and peppermint chips.
For over 30 years I've made my own peppermint chips by putting a candy cane in a paper bag and using a hammer to break it all up. This year I was pleasantly surprised when I went to the grocery store and found peppermint chips all ready to use in a little container in the holiday baking section.
Candy Cane Cookies:
21/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
candy can chips or 2 candy canes to crush
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Take the butter out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before you start to make the cookies so that it can soften up and be easier to use.
Next you want to cream butter, eggs and sugar together, mix well. Add the extracts, mix and then add the flour and salt, mix well.
Next you will need to divide your cookie dough in half. Add your red food coloring to one of the bowls of cookie dough and mix well.
Cover both bowls and place in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.
After an hour remove the dough from the refrigerator. The dough should be firm enough to roll into thick spaghetti like strips. You will want these about a 1/2 inch thick. Roll both a red strip and a white one and place side by side.
This is where the fun starts! You now get to start twisting the strips to form candy canes. You can roll the twisted canes to elongate them if they aren't the size you like. When you are finished cut to about 6 inch pieces or how ever big you want to make the cookies. Place the cookie on the cookie pan and then bend the top to form the candy cane.
Now it's time to add the crushed candy cane pieces to the uncooked cookies. I find it easiest to place them right on the cookie rather than sprinkling. I try to get as much off of the cookie sheet as I can before I cook the cookies.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Remove from the oven and place cookies on a wire rack. Be very careful with the cookies because they break easily until they cool off.
Now it's time to pour your self a big glass of milk and enjoy with these warm candy cane cookies. These will last up to two months in the freezer if you want to get an early start with your holiday baking.