I can vividly remember getting so excited for these candy cane cookies as a child. My mother would make them every year out of her Betty Crocker cookbook, and they were such a treat! Years ago I decided to make my own and found a Betty Crocker recipe on-line that I assumed were the cookies of my childhood, well they weren’t. It appears that Betty has made a few versions over the years, but the ones I remember as a child are still my favorite.
The original recipe calls for almond extract, which due to nut allergies I no longer use in any recipes. I have made these with just using more vanilla, and I have also made these with substituting peppermint extract for the almond. While they are both very good, my family is down the middle with which version they prefer, so I alternate the versions I make so that it is fair to everyone.
Candy Cane Cookie Recipe:
1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsps. almond extract (I either use peppermint or vanilla)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red food color
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
1/2 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter, shortening, confectioners sugar, egg, and flavoring. Blend in flour and salt. Divide dough in half and mix red food coloring into one half.
Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and then roll on a floured board into 4 inch ropes. Place a white and a red rope side by side and twist together.
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and curve top to form a cane. Bake for 9 minutes or until set and very light brown.
Mix peppermint candy and sugar and immediately sprinkle on cookies when out of the oven. Let cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
I love that my fond childhood memories have now become my children’s memories!