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Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

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A festive, delicious, pepperminty holiday cookie shaped like a candy cane.MORE+LESS-


cup butter, cubed and softened


teaspoons almond extract


teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2

cups Gold Medal™ unbleached all-purpose flour


teaspoon red food coloring


teaspoon peppermint extract


round peppermint candies or 5 candy canes, crushed

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  • 1

    In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  • 2

    Add egg, almond and vanilla extracts and salt and stir thoroughly to combine. Add in flour in 3 intervals, stirring until just combined between each interval.

  • 3

    Divide dough in half and shape one half in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Keep the other half in the bowl and add red food coloring and peppermint extract and stir until color is evenly distributed throughout. Shape dough in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  • 4

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap, placing on a lightly floured surface. Scoop 1 teaspoon dough from each ball and roll each piece into a 4-inch log. Place logs next to each other and press together very lightly, then twist and pinch ends lightly to seal. Place log on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and curve one end to form a candy cane shape. Repeat with remaining dough.

  • 5

    Bake cookies 10 minutes or until set. Meanwhile, mix together crushed peppermint candies and sugar. Remove cookies from oven and immediately sprinkle with candy/sugar mixture, if desired. Allow to cool completely on cooling rack before serving.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Nothing is more nostalgic to me than baking Christmas cookies.

    Almost every Christmas while growing up, cookies were the center of attention. Whether it was my great-grandmother’s famous almond horns, rum balls and thumbprint cookies, or my mom’s signature frosted sugar cookies, there were always cookies to be enjoyed. And I always loved being a part of it (both for the baking and the eating, of course).

    One of my favorite childhood Christmas cookie recipes is for Candy Cane Cookies. They’re festive, delicious and fun to make. Infused with a dash of peppermint extract and shaped just like a candy cane, they’re the perfect cookie to make for your next holiday party, cookie swap or family gathering. Santa may even want a few with his glass of milk after he comes down the chimney.

    These cookies are reminiscent of the traditional sugar cookie, but with hints of peppermint, almond and vanilla, plus a topping of sugar and crushed peppermint candies, they’ve got a little extra something. Plus, I always loved the process of helping my mom make them before they went in the oven – something about shaping dough into a cute little candy cane puts me right in the Christmas spirit. They take only 10 minutes in the oven, so you won’t have to wait too long before you can devour them.

    If you want to add a unique and delicious cookie recipe to your traditional gamut of Christmas cookies, this is a great addition. It’s fun, festive and yummy – all the necessary ingredients for a great holiday cookie. Your group – and the man in the red suit – will love this recipe.

    Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!

Candy Cane Cookies

Just like their confectionary counterparts, these whimsical cookies are flavored with peppermint, and make sweet accompaniment alongside a cup of hot cocoa or tea. Creating their signature shape is easy, but it will take a little practice and a gentle hand. Small portions of dough for each cookie are also essential to keep them from cracking as they bake. If the dough warms up as you work, return it to the refrigerator for 10 minutes. A nicely chilled dough will be easier to shape. We liked the pop of traditional Christmas colors for the cookies, but other festive holiday hues like light blue or pink would also work nicely.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Red food coloring

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth beat in egg yolks.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, combine milk, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, blending thoroughly after each addition.

Divide dough in half. Leave one half in the mixing bowl and stir in a few drops of red food coloring.

Divide each half of dough in half again (four portions total) wrap dough portions in waxed paper or cooking parchment and chill until firm but still pliable, about 1 hour.

Unwrap dough and roll each of the four pieces into a smooth rope about 15 inches long. Twist each white rope with a red rope into a 13-inch-long combined rope (for a total of two ropes). Wrap twisted rolls in waxed paper chill until firm, at least 4 hours, or up to 1 week (see notes).

Unwrap dough. Using a sharp knife, cut rolls into 1/8-inch-thick slices place slices about 1 inch apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

Bake cookies in a 350° oven until light golden, about 10 minutes transfer to racks to cool completely.


These festive candy cane cookies are so cute, and are the perfect gift for the holidays. They are made by rolling up red and white cookie dough to form the shape of a candy cane. The addition of mint flavor to the sugar cookie dough makes these cookies not only look like a candy cane, but also taste like one.


1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup of granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 ½ teaspoons pure mint extract
1 ¼ teaspoons light vanilla flavoring
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon red squeezable gel


Using a stand mixer, or a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl, at medium-high speed, beat the unsalted butter for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
Reduce mixing speed to low, and add granulated sugar, cream of tartar, and other ingredients. Increase mixing speed to medium and continue mixing for 2 to 3 minutes or until butter mixture is fluffy.
Reduce mixing speed to low and add the mint extract and clear vanilla flavor.
Keeping the mixing speed low, slowly add the baking powder and all-purpose flour one cup of ½ each time. Continue to mix until the flour is well incorporated and no visible streaking of flour is visible.
Divide cookie dough into 2 equal dough balls. Return 1 ball of dough to the mixing bowl to be colored red. Cover the ball of dough that will be the white part of the candy cane cookie and place it in the refrigerator.
Add the ½ teaspoons of red gel to the remaining dough in the mixing bowl. Using the mixer at low speed, add the red color to the dough until it is a uniform color and no white stripes are visible. Place the red dough in a medium size bowl and cover the red dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Just before taking the dough out of the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a measuring spoon ½, remove the white and red dough balls. Roll each one into a tight round ball, to ensure that the dough string maintains its shape.
Cover your counter or cutting board with a sheet of parchment paper. (This is to prevent the countertop or cutting board from becoming red) Use your hand to roll the white and red dough balls into 5-inch long ropes. It is very important that your hands stay cool while rolling up the ropes.
Slightly press the bottom of the two strings. Carefully twist the ropes with light pressure. Be sure to keep the ropes round and not flat.
Place the twisted string on the prepared baking sheet and curve the top of the string at the elbow of the candy cane. Repeat the twisting process with the remaining dough. Place the cookies 2 inches apart.
Bake for 7 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool in the mold for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Notes

Tip 1: Adding the mint extract is how the cookies will get their mint flavor, it seems magical! Without it, the cookies will taste like regular sugar cookies. So, if you want to have some cookies that are normal, leave the extract out of that batch.
Tip 2: When making the dumplings and candy canes, be sure to cover the counter or cutting board with a sheet of parchment paper. This will prevent the countertop or cutting board from being stained red.
Tip 3: When rolling up the ropes and creating the candy cane shapes, it is very important that your hands stay cool. You don’t want to roll them up if your hands are too hot or they might lose their shape.
Tip 4: Be sure to keep the strings rounded and not flatten them when creating the candy cane shapes.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • red food coloring

Cream butter and sugars together add egg yolks. Stir in extracts and set aside. Combine salt and flour stir into sugar mixture. Divide dough in 2 equal portions and tint one portion red. Remove one tablespoon of dough from each bowl. On a very lightly floured surface, shape each tablespoon of dough by rolling under both hands to form a rope. Place the 2 ropes side-by-side and gently twist together. Carefully bend the top to form a candy cane continue with remaining dough in each bowl. Place candy canes on an ungreased baking sheet, about one inch apart bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Do not brown. Let cool on baking sheet.

Packaging Instructions: Make one of these adorable bags for each guest at your cookie exchange party to carry home samples from the party. Cut a 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" piece from card stock for a pocket glue sides and bottom of the pocket to the front of a decorative lunchsize paper bag. Trace this gingerbread man and heart pattern onto tracing paper. Use the patterns to cut one gingerbread man from card stock, 2 hearts from fabric and one heart from batting. Glue the gingerbread man to white card stock leaving a 1/4" border, use decorative-edge craft scissors to cut out gingerbread man.

Glue batting heart between 2 fabric hearts. Glue the heart to the gingerbread man. Use a fine-point marker to draw a face and a red colored pencil to draw cheeks on the gingerbread man. Draw a black zigzag line along the edges of the pocket. Cut a 3" x 4 1/2" card from red & white striped decorative paper. Matching bottom edges, glue it to a blank 3" x 5" card write desired recipe on the card, then tuck it into the pocket. Fill the bag with treats. Fold the top of the bag 1" to the wrong side. Punch two holes at the top center of the bag through the fold. Use a strand or 2 of raffia to tie the bag closed.

Tip: Remind each guest to bring copies of her cookie recipe to share. Everyone can tuck their favorite recipes in the handy pocket on the take-home cookie sacks that they'll fill at your party.

Watch the video: Candy Cane Chocolate Chunk Cookies. SweetTreats


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