Monday, December 14, 2009

Candy Cane Cookies

It's that time of year - time for Christmas cookies.

My family doesn't really have any family recipes, but this is one of the few. My mom made these cookies with her family when she was a kid, and then made them with my brothers and me when we were kids. And here's where the cookies become infamous: one year, my youngest brother Jeff got a bit overzealous with the raw cookie dough. Let's just say the now, years later, he still gets a bit green around the gills when he smells almond extract. I still love them, though. They're easy to make, pretty to look at, and mildly sweet. Why we use almond extract and not peppermint I don't know, but trust me, they taste delicious.


1 c. shortening
1 c. sifted confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 ½  tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
Red food coloring


1. Mix together your wet ingredients - shortening, egg, vanilla, almond, and sugar. I recommend an extra-large egg, because the dough can be a bit dry. 
2.  Sift in the flour and salt.

If your dough is a little crumbly, you can mix in a smidge of water. You want your dough to have the consistency of playdough. I added water because mine came out like this:

3. Once your dough is mixed, remove half and place in plastic wrap in the fridge (make a giant dough ball). Take your remaining half and add red food dye until you get a nice pink color. Put this in plastic in the fridge as well.

4. Clean up the red food dye you invariably got all over your hands, counter, and the cat.
5. After at least one hour or overnight, break out your dough balls (heh).
6. Roll out some 'worms' the thickness of your pinky.

7. Twist them together, the roll a bit to get them joined.

Then place on a cookie sheet and shape like a candy cane.

7a. Alternate method - the marble. Roll two pieces of dough into a ball, then roll into your worm shape.

8. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

9. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes. These cookies don't really puff, so you can place them fairly close to each other on your cookie sheet. They also don't brown too much, and will come out looking pretty much how they looked when you put them in.

Yields about 4 dozen. Last approx. 4 hours until they're hoovered.


  1. Well, if no one else enjoyed the story and the photos, I did. I'll be sure to make sure your brother Jeff clicks on this site so that he can make a face when he looks at the photos and remembers that night...
    --Posted by Your Mom

  2. I posted a picture of my candy canes from this year on Twitter. They came out equally as delicious as ever!

  3. you left out a very important ingredient. When rolling the worms, make sure you have a sibling present so you can fight over who does white and who does red and of course, whose is best! And that Mom's always the referee and are usually the twister...

  4. We made these in my house too...I think they come from that old red & white checked Betty Crocker cookbook.