Today, my mama (Janice) shares her recipe for Candy Cane Cookies and some fun memories from my childhood! ~Christy
These are the cookies that Christy remembers us making from her childhood. I think what she remembers most is the way that I crushed the peppermint candy cane. I usually bought one of the large peppermint sticks, put it into a double layered plastic bag, went out in the driveway, and ran over it with the car. I still remember them all standing on the porch watching to let me know if I had hit it or not. I would run over it backwards and forwards and then get out to check it. If it needed a little more crushing, I’d keep doing that until it was a fine powder. Now I realize that I could have just hit it with a hammer but the kids enjoyed it more with the car method.
I always tried to do things unexpected to surprise them. With kids, it doesn’t take a lot! Just any little thing out of the ordinary. When I poured the milk over the kid’s cereal in the morning, they always waved their hand over the bowl. Most mornings I would wait and tell them to move their hand or no milk. Well, one morning I just went ahead and poured the milk over their little hands. They still talk about their surprise at me doing that to this day. Not much mess, but lasting memories. Sometimes the day to day chores become ordinary and it is up to us to add in the little unexpected surprises. I think it gives the day a little lift and puts a smile in our hearts. And who knows, it may just become one of the cherished memories of our children’s childhoods.
My message today is to never take life too seriously and always remember to take the time to make a few memories along the way.
Now let’s make these cookies. This is a classic recipe that has stood the test of time and you may be surprised to find that these cookies are a special favorite of Santa’s elves! See the bottom of my post for proof :).
Our cast of characters for today are: Butter, Shortening, Sugar, Egg, Vanilla, Peppermint Extract, All-Purpose Flour, Salt, Candy Canes, and Red Food Coloring. Now that is an all-star cast!
Cream butter, shortening and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg, vanilla and peppermint extract. Mix.
Stir flour and salt into batter mixture and combine well.
Divide in dough in half into two bowls.
Stir red food coloring into dough in one of the bowls.
Scoop dough into one teaspoon portions.
- Roll dough into ropes about 4 inches long.
- Place two ropes side by side, press lightly together and twist into candy cane shape with curved top.
- Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly browned.
- While still warm, sprinkle with crushed candy cane and sugar mixture.
If you have any elves in your house this holiday season, you’ll probably notice these cookies disappearing faster than you had expected. I bake countless varieties of cookies all year around but especially during the Christmas season. I’ve never known any cookies to be as irresistible to elves as these are. I can make a batch of these, each of us only have one or two, and wake to find the jar empty the next day with my elves bellies looking slightly plumper than the night before.
Just to prove it, I posed this little guy here for a picture and when I turned my back for one second…
Clearly, these are a favorite among Santa’s helpers, and Santa, too!
- ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 and ½ cups unsifted all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon red food coloring
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup crushed peppermint candy cane
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla and peppermint extract.
- Stir flour and salt into butter mixture and beat until well combined.
- Divide dough in half.
- Stir red food coloring into one half of dough until well blended.
- Roll 1 teaspoonful of each color dough into four inch rope.
- Place 2 ropes side by side, press lightly together and twist.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheets and curve top for the handle of the candy cane.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- While cookies are baking, crush candy canes to equal ½ cup mixture and add ½ cup sugar.
- While still warm, sprinkle with topping mixture. The warm cookie will cause the topping to slightly melt enough to adhere to candy cane.
- Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
“Gratitude turns what you have into enough.”