Candy Cane Cookies

Make a cookie version of that iconic Christmas treat, the candy cane. The recipe even has the familiar peppermint flavor.

Yield: Makes 2 dozen.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • red food coloring

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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