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Candy Cane Cookies Recipe & Video

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Since Candy Canes are part of Christmas, these Candy Cane Cookies are perfect for your Christmas baking. These cute little cookies are tender crisp with a buttery sweet flavor. There is no denying that kids love these cookies, but adults seem to enjoy them every bit as much, especially with a hot cup of tea or coffee.


This cookie batter does not contain baking powder or baking soda, as we do not want the cookies to rise during baking, as this would distort their candy cane shape. I have flavored the cookies with both vanilla and almond extracts. However, if you want a peppermint flavored cookie, simply replace the almond extract with an equal amount of peppermint extract. The other thing about the batter is that two egg yolks are used instead of one whole egg, and this is done to give the cookies a richer flavor. Once the batter is made it is divided in half and then one half is colored red. You can use either liquid food coloring, or you can use a red paste food color.

Once the batter is made you take a walnut sized piece of dough from each of the two batters and separately roll them each into a rope shape, that is about 5 inches (12.5 cm) long. Twist the two ropes together and place on your parchment lined baking sheet. Shape the cookies into a cane shape by curving one end into a hook shape. I like to gently smooth the edges of the two ropes to soften the lines between the two colors. The cookies are baked in a moderate oven just until set and the edges of the cookies are barely tinged with brown. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool, as the cookies will be quite soft and fragile. These cookies will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for about 7 to 10 days. The cookies can also be frozen.

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Candy Cane Cookies: In a bowl, whisk the flour with the salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture, in two additions, and beat until you have a smooth dough.

Remove half of the dough (350 grams) 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 about 30-60 minutes.

Take a walnut sized piece (scant 1 tablespoon) (15 grams) of red dough and a walnut sized piece of white dough. Separately roll each color, on a lightly floured surface, into a 5 inch (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 unbaked cookies) in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before baking.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.

Bake cookies for about 8-12 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. Cover and store in an airtight container for about one week. These cookies can be frozen.

Makes about 30 cookies.

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Candy Cane Cookies:

2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) kosher salt

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (120 grams) confectioners sugar (powdered or icing)

2 large egg yolks (32 grams), at room temperature

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure almond extract (or 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract)

1/2 teaspoon red liquid food coloring (or 1/4 teaspoon red gel paste food coloring)

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