I loved reading Joy’s Frozen Frangos post on Saturday! It made me think about what a perfectionist my own dad was when it came to the Christmas tree. He was so particular about having a symmetrical tree that he would actually drill holes in the trunk so he could re-attach branches to hide any bare spots. I grew up thinking everyone did that, but I have yet to hear about anyone else who used this particular method. Have you?
Joy’s post also got me in the mood for a little holiday baking which meant it was time to pull out Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book. When we were growing up, my sister and I would work our way through Betty Cocker’s Cooky Book, looking at the pictures and trying to decide which cookies we should bake.
Candy Cane Cookies were always a favorite. The picture in the cook book looked so enticing and making them was kind of like working with Play-Doh, with the added benefit that we could actually eat the dough – so of course we always put Candy Cane Cookies on our list.
It’s actually a very simple recipe…
Make a sugar cookie dough and use food coloring to tint half of it red. Roll out a teaspoon of dough in each color into a 4 inch rope. Press the two colors together and twist into a candy cane. Fresh from the oven, sprinkle the cookies with crushed candy cane and granulated sugar. That’s it.
Unlike a lot of rolled doughs, this one does not need to be refrigerated first, but you will need a good hour for this project because rolling out the candy canes does take a bit of time and patience. To get a bright red color in the dough, be sure to use paste or gel food coloring.
If you don’t own a copy of the classic Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, I’d recommend one – especially for Christmas cookies.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
- 1 egg
- 1½ tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. red food coloring (gel or paste works best)
- ½ cup crushed candy cane
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 375° (350° for convection oven).
- Combine butter, shortening, egg, confectioners sugar, almond and vanilla extracts in a mixing bowl and mix to combine thoroughly.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
- Divide the dough in half.
- Blend the red food coloring into one half.
- Use a 1 tsp. measuring spoon to portion the dough.
- Form one cookie at a time by rolling the balls of dough out to make 4" strips.
- Place a red colored strip together with a plain colored strip and lightly press them together, then twist like a rope.
- Place on an ungreased baking sheet and curve the top to form the handle of the cane.
- Bake about 9 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a mixture of crushed candy cane and granulated sugar.