I usually have all the children help me with making these cookies. With only Paul left at home, today he was the elected "helper". I'm glad he likes to cook, and appreciates even as a teenager, the importance of keeping traditions. Christmas just wouldn't feel like Christmas with out making candy cane cookies.
First you mix the shortening and butter with the egg and sugar. One of the best part of these cookies is the almond extract flavoring. It adds a very distinctive taste that we all love.
Then add in the dry ingredients. Divide the dough in 1/2 and mix red food coloring into one batch.
Take a small ball of each dough and roll each into the shape of a rope.
An optional idea is to sprinkle peppermint candy on the top. We tried doing it before we baked the cookies today, although the recipe says to do it after they are out of the oven.
Paul is my creative one, who likes to do something different when he cooks. Because the recipe says make in the shape of the candy cane, he always has to include other shapes and designs. The cookies taste good this way too!
Bake and let cool. When the kids were small, we always put a plate of these out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
CANDY CANE COOKIES
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. shortening
1 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red food coloring
*Optional: crushed peppermint candy mixed with even amounts of granulated sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix butter, shortening, powdered sugar, egg and flavorings. Blend in flour and salt. Divide the dough in half, blend food coloring into one half.
Shape small amount of dough from each half into a 4 inch rope. For smooth, even ropes, roll them back and forth on lightly floured board. Place ropes side by side. Press together lightly and twist. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Curve top down to form handle. Bake about 9 minutes or until set and lightly brown. **Can mix candy and sugar and immediately sprinkle cookies with mixture.
Belinda of Brown Dirt Cottage requested I share more of my Santa Collection.
My most favorite Santa comes from a set of Russian Matryoshka Nesting Dolls. We purchased these when we were fortunate enough to go to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Only the largest Doll (the Santa) looks very Christmasy. The others that nest inside look a little more like winter, especially the penguin at the end.
I'm still using Mr. Cactus' old archaic digital camera that is giving me fits. (Remember I lost my camera in Disneyland a few months ago?) I've requested a new camera for Christmas and until then will keep grinding my teeth while trying to appreciate that at least I have a camera to use. Sorry so many of these are blurry and react poorly to the different settings I tried to use with the flash.