These old-fashioned Candy Cane Christmas Cookies are so just darling for holiday baking! Red and white peppermint cookies dough, twisted into a sweet little candy cane shape. This recipe for candy cane cookies is just like the cookies I remember trying when I was a kid. They aren’t overly sweet, just a wonderful combination of vanilla and peppermint flavor. They go perfectly with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!
Start by preparing the cookie dough. This recipe makes a nice soft dough that is very easy to work with.
Divide the dough in half and color one half red. Chill dough for about one hour or up to overnight.
Scoop one tablespoon of each color dough and gently roll into a 6 inch rope shape.
Gently twist into candy cane shape, pinching the ends together slightly. They don’t need to be perfect, we are going for a handmade look! Chill the shaped cookies for 15 minutes prior to baking.
Arrange on a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake until bottoms are a very light golden brown.
Prepare peppermint glaze and spoon over still slightly warm cookies. This step is optional, but I love the pretty sheen and the light touch of sweetness. Since this cookie dough is not overly sweet, it benefits from a little something extra. If you are planning on storing these cookies or giving them as gifts and don’t want to use the glaze, try sprinkling with sugar or crushed peppermint before baking to add that extra sweetness.
- 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4 teaspoon of red food coloring
- For the glaze
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla and peppermint extract, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Reduce mixer speed and add flour and salt, mixing until well combined.
- Divide dough in half.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine 1/2 the cookie dough with red food coloring.
- Shape cookie dough into disc and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate one hour or up to overnight.
- Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Measure one tablespoon of each color dough and gently roll into 6 inch long log shapes.
- Twist cookie dough together and transfer to parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Chill shaped cookie dough for 15 minutes before baking.
- Bake 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms of cookies are a very light golden brown.
- While the cookies are baking, prepare peppermint glaze. Spoon over cookies after they have cooled slightly.
Candy Cane Cookie perfection! In the original recipe for these cookies, I adapted from The Kitchn, the author says the cookies are even better the next day and I agree! These are great for making ahead as the flavor and texture of the cookies continues to improve. Just a note about this cookie dough, it’s not a sugar cookie dough. This is a sturdier shortbread dough meant to hold the shape of the candy cane. A sugar cookie would have more butter and sugar and would spread while baking.
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