Candy Cane Wands Christmas Baking Recipe
Holiday Cookie Recipes
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is looking through my Christmas cookie recipes and planning what I will bake. I like to have an array of candies and cookies to display throughout the holiday season. Rather than spend an entire weekend baking, I prefer to start a little early. After sampling the goodies, I stack them between sheets of waxed paper in plastic containers, label them, and put them in the freezer for later.
Today, I'm making a twist on my mother-in-law's Candy Cane Wands. Her cookies are delicious, but, they are distinctly hers. There are certain signature flavors in her baking. For instance, she loves the flavor of almond extract. She puts almond extract in almost everything and that gives what she makes a special "Grandma Pat" touch. My kids love the things she makes, so, to keep her recipe special, I'm going to change it a bit to make it a little more me. Who knows? Maybe my kids will think I have a special "mom" touch, too. In place of her almond extract, I'm going to add a combination of peppermint extract and pure vanilla extract. I'm also going to add a little extra sugar to her recipe because I have a sweet tooth and, to top it off, I'm going to partially dip these cookies in white chocolate and roll them in crushed peppermint candies. Hopefully that will be the extra touches that will make these cookies a new holiday tradition for my part of the family.
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This rack is similar to mine. I like the small grated pattern so nothing slips through.
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 1/2 c shortening
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 c powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp red food coloring
- 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8 squares melted white chocolate, for dipping
- 1 c crushed peppermint candies
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix shortening, butter, powdered sugar, egg, peppermint extract and vanilla extract thoroughly in a mixing bowl.
- Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl with a wire whisk. Add to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Divide the dough in half. Blend the red food coloring into one half. You now have a red ball of dough and a white ball of dough.
- Using 1 tsp dough, roll a 4 inch strip from each color. Place the strips side by side, press together on the ends and then twist like a rope. You can shape them into a cane shape or leave them straight in a wand shape. Place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat until you have filled the baking sheets.
- Bake 8 minutes in a 375 degree oven or until the cookies are set. Do not allow the cookies to brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a cooling rack.
- In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate. Dip the ends of your cooled cookies into the chocolate and roll in crushed peppermint. Place on waxed paper until set.
I finished my cookies and they turned out amazing. They are as good as Grandma Pat's but just enough different to be mine. I have some final thoughts on the recipe.
- If your dough starts to get crumbly, add a little extra butter. That will make them easier to roll.
- Make sure to melt your chocolate right before your ready to dip. That will ensure that it doesn't seize on you.
- Speaking of chocolate, many boxes say you can microwave it. I tried it and the results were poor. A good, old fashioned double boiler works best.
- Make sure to crush your candies very finely. Big chunks won't stick to your cookies. After hammering for awhile, I finally dropped them in my Ninja food chopper. Three pulses and they were perfect.
- A pastry scraper comes in handy to divide dough and to measure your pieces.
- Always crack your egg in a separate bowl. Sometimes you may get one with a little blood in it and you do not want that in your cookie dough.
Candy canes, these days, come in all sorts of flavors and your cookies can, too. Try making them green and white with spearmint extract or even cherry and vanilla dipped in dark chocolate with candy sprinkles. These cookies really are tasty. Give them a try. Maybe they can become part of your holiday baking traditions, too.
©Denise Mai, September 30, 2012. All rights reserved.