Saturday, December 20, 2008

Candy cane cookies

We made candy cane cookies today.  J14 has dubbed this one her favorite. It is a great recipe to get young ones involved in,  if they can make snakes, they can make these cookies.  Word of warning:  these are NOT low fat cookies.  They are very rich but not too sweet.

Candy Cane Cookies (or Shepherd's Staff cookies)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla 
5 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp red food coloring (I use less- that just seems like a lot of artificial red)
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy mixed with 1/2 cup granulated sugar  (optional)

Heat oven to 375 F.  Mix together butter, shortening and sugar.  Add egg, vanilla and almond.  Blend in flour and salt then divide dough in half.  Blend red food coloring into one half of the dough. It would be fun to try to color it with natural dye, maybe beet juice.  Since I don't use as much food coloring as the recipe calls for my candy canes are pink and white but no one seems to mind.
Here comes the fun part:  Roll a scant teaspoon of each color dough into a snake or rope about 4 to 5 inches long.  Lay ropes side by side, press together gently, and twist.  Like this:
Place on ungreased baking sheet, curve the top slightly to form the crook.  
Bake for about 9 minutes or until set and the bottoms are very light brown.
Here comes the optional part:  Immediately after you remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the cookies with the mix of  peppermint candy and sugar.  I don't generally do this part but sometimes I sprinkle them with colored sugar before I bake them.  
This dough can also be used to form other shapes such as wreaths or people. Get creative. No two cookies are the same, especially when made by children.  The dough spreads a bit, so don't put them too close together.

We're getting more snow today.  I11 and I spent part of the afternoon running errands in the slush and finding a new coat for him.  The zipper broke on his old coat and I'm not in the mood to try to replace a zipper on a down coat, if I could find one the right kind and size. I think this is the third or fourth year he has worn this coat so we got good use out of it.  Luckily we were able to find a coat that he liked in his size.  The choices were pretty limited where we went since most people have gotten coats already if they needed one.


  1. I am out blog hopping and found my way to you. I really enjoyed reading through your blog. Stop in and visit sometime...and be sure to leave me a comment!!

  2. Your cookies are cute. I think I'll try those with my little one. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. Those look great. And I am sure taste great too. I'm thinking I might make those with my little guy tomorrow. Thanks!

  4. i just happened on your blog today, and those candy cane cookies brought back so many memories for me!! My mom used to make those way back when... ah memories!!

  5. My mom always just calls them refrigerator cookies so I didn't know they were the same until I saw the pictures. It looks like you are getting a lot of baking done. We will be doing that tomorrow after we finish some gifts!

  6. These have always been fun to make. The children like getting to make the snakes. The dough is pretty soft so chilling it helps, but I don't usually bother- then they complain that their hands get cold.
    I'm glad you all liked them. Have fun with them.


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