Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies – a holiday tradition! Almond shortbread cookies twisted into candy cane shapes and topped with crushed candy canes. These are the BEST Christmas cookies EVER! Butter, shortening, egg, powdered sugar, vanilla, almond extract, flour, salt, red food coloring, candy canes and sugar. This is a great recipe to let the kids help shape and decorate the cookies. It isn’t Christmas at our house without these cookies! #christmas #shortbread #candycanes #cookies

plate of candy cane cookies

Candy Cane Christmas Cookies

Since 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year, I am breaking into my top-secret family recipes and sharing my favorite Christmas cookie recipe with you – Candy Cane Cookies. These cookies are our favorite! My Mom, brother and I made these when we were growing up, and I still make at least one batch at Christmas. I can’t show up for Christmas without a batch for my brother.

The original recipe came from the December 1978 issue of Southern Living Magazine. My Mom still has the pages in her recipe box. This is a unique cookie, as it uses powdered sugar in the dough. They are a shortbread type cookie with almond extract and crushed candy canes on top. They are super festive and super easy to eat! I’ll take these cookies over a sugar cookie any day of the week!

plate of candy cane cookies

How to Make Candy Cane Cookies

The cookie dough is very easy to make. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,  mix together unsalted butter and shortening on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add powdered sugar, egg, flour, salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Divide the dough in half and add red food coloring to one half of the dough. Divide each half of the dough into 36 balls. Take one ball of white dough and roll it into a long rope. Roll a long rope out with a ball of red dough. Carefully twist the ropes together and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven until the edges start to turn golden brown. Sprinkle the cookies with crushed candy canes and sugar immediately after removing them from the oven. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool.

Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • I used Crisco shortening in the cookies. I have NEVER substituted more butter for the shortening. Using all butter will completely change the texture of the cookie. They will also spread more and may not keep their shape. I do NOT recommend changing the recipe.
  • Use a food processor to finely crush the candy canes. I crush them until they are mostly candy cane dust with a few chunks.
  • I make the cookies in my KitchenAid mixer. You can use a hand mixer or mix the dough by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  • Make one cookie at a time. If you roll out all the dough of one color the dough tends to dry and won’t twist together well.
  • You can use liquid or red gel food coloring. Use as much or as little food coloring to get the desired red color
  • I love the flavor of the almond extract in this cookie. Feel free to substitute peppermint extract if you want a more pronounced peppermint flavor.
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone baking mat.
  • The cookies will keep 3 to 4 days in an air-tight container.
  • I have never frozen these cookies, but I think they would be fine if frozen after baking.
plate of candy cane cookies

The BEST Christmas Cookies

These cookies are a bit labor-intensive to make, but they are worth it. It is a great recipe to get the kids to help make. They can roll the dough, shape the candy canes, and sprinkle the warm cookies with the crushed candy cane sugar. These are the perfect cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Add these to your cookie list this year. I am sure they will become a family tradition for you too.

Peppermint Popcorn Bark

Peppermint Popcorn Bark – Popcorn coated with white chocolate and crushed candy canes! O-M-YUM! This stuff is so dang addictive!…

Praline Cookies

Praline Cookies – quick pecan cookies that are always a hit on the holiday cookie tray! SO easy to make…

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Microwave Peanut Brittle – no candy thermometer required! Only 6 ingredients and ready in 6½ minutes! Cocktail peanuts, sugar, light…

Red Velvet Brownies

Red Velvet Brownie recipe – these are the best brownies EVER! Quick homemade red velvet brownies topped with a homemade…

plate of candy cane cookies

Candy Cane Cookies

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 9 mins
Candy Cane Cookies – a holiday tradition! Almond shortbread cookies twisted into candy cane shapes and topped with crushed candy canes. These are the BEST Christmas cookies EVER! Butter, shortening, egg, powdered sugar, vanilla, almond extract, flour, salt, red food coloring, candy canes and sugar. This is a great recipe to let the kids help shape and decorate the cookies. It isn't Christmas at our house without these cookies!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red food coloring
  • ½ cup crushed candy canes
  • ½ cup sugar

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine crushed candy canes and sugar. Set aside.
  • Mix butter, shortening, powdered sugar, egg, vanilla, and almond extract thoroughly. Stir in flour and salt.
  • Divide the dough in half. Blend in food coloring into one half of the dough.
  • Divide each half of the dough into 36 balls.
  • Roll a ball of each color into a 4-inch long rope. Place strips side by side. Press together lightly. Twist as a rope and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Bake cookies for 9 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven and sprinkle cookies iwth candy cane mixture while still warm.
  • Place the cookies on a wire rack and cool completely.

Notes:

  • I used Crisco shortening in the cookies. I have NEVER substituted more butter for the shortening. Using all butter will completely change the texture of the cookie. They will also spread more and may not keep their shape. I do NOT recommend changing the recipe.
  • Use a food processor to finely crush the candy canes. I crush them until they are mostly candy cane dust with a few chunks.
  • I make the cookies in my KitchenAid mixer. You can use a hand mixer or mix the dough by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer.
  • Make one cookie at a time. If you roll out all the dough of one color the dough tends to dry and won’t twist together well.
  • You can use liquid or red gel food coloring. Use as much or as little food coloring to get the desired red color
  • I love the flavor of the almond extract in this cookie. Feel free to substitute peppermint extract if you want a more pronounced peppermint flavor.
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone baking mat.
  • The cookies will keep 3 to 4 days in an air-tight container.
  • I have never frozen these cookies, but I think they would be fine if frozen after baking.

Steph

Remember this recipe.

Pin this recipe to your favorite board now to remember it later!

Pin This Recipe
plate of candy cane cookies

Categories:

Tags:

You Might Also Like

See All Christmas

Creamy Pizza Dip

Creamy Pizza Dip Recipe – SOOOO good! Sausage, pepperoni, cream cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning, and diced tomatoes. Ready in under 10…

Cracked Out Green Beans

Cracked Out Green Beans – oven-baked green beans recipe loaded with cheddar, bacon, and ranch. Low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free. Super…

Comments

  1. In most of your recipes you suggest freezing for later use. Do you make, wrap and freeze for later baking or do you make, bake, wrap, freeze for later reheating?

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating