Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Today Christy’s mama shares her recipe for Candy Cane Cookies!

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

A Memorable Way to Crush The Candy Canes!

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.  Usually I 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.  Each time 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.

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 :).

ingredients for candy cane cookies

The ingredients for these Cookies are:


  • Shortening or Coconut Oil (Refined has very little coconut flavor, but if you like coconut, get unrefined as it has lots of coconut flavor)
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Peppermint Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Candy Canes
  • Red Food Coloring or a healthier option Beet Root powder

How To Make Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Cream butter, shortening and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Add egg, vanilla and peppermint extract.  Mix.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Stir flour and salt into batter mixture and combine well.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Divide in dough in half into two bowls.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Stir red food coloring or beet root powder into dough in one of the bowls.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

Scoop dough into one teaspoon portions.

Instructions on Making Candy Cane Shapes

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)

  • 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.

Candy Cane Cookies (Elf Favorite!)


Elves LOVE These Cookies

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… 

candy cane cookie stealer

Clearly, these are a favorite among Santa’s helpers, and Santa, too!

Candy Cane Cookies

This recipe for Candy Cane Cookies has stood the test of time. And the kids love making And eating them. Enjoy these holiday favorites.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies
Servings: 4
Calories: 82kcal


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening or Coconut oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon red food coloring or beet root powder
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 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/beet root powder 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 1/2 cup mixture and add 1/2 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.


Calories: 82kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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“Gratitude turns what you have into enough.”



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  1. Love the story, and the way to crush the candy canes, wouldn’t work here, they’d get lost in the snow on the drive.
    Will have to make some for the twins, they are not allowed chocolate until they are three, so these will have to do! LOL

  2. Making these today, Mama Janice! This will my 46th Christmas season making them. I just found out from my brother that he is the one that noticed them in a little booklet that was in a magazine and carefully cut that booklet out and asked my mom if we could make them… they have been a tradition ever since. Was so tickled to see you post this great Christmas cookie recipe!! (Love your clever way of crushing the candy, by the way)

    1. I am so glad to hear that someone else loves them as much as we do! Have a wonderful holiday season and tell Bro I said enjoy the cookies! He must have been a genius to hone in on that recipe! Janice

  3. I loved today’s post and will agree with all of my hear that the unexpected moments are the best memories. My momma was the best at doing unexpected things and at times would get so tickled at the mischief she was about to do that she gave herself away before getting it done. My how I miss that little, round, mischievous woman.

  4. I can just picture your mom running back and forth over the peppermint candy. Her neighbors must have thought she was crazy!! What a fun memory!

  5. That is the cutest elf I have seen! He is adorable. Would love to find one like him. If only I knew where to look….???

    1. I found him at Target this year for $3. A lot of times Mama brings her recipes to my house for the final pictures so I stuck him in there. I think they are meant to be ornaments but I bought four or five of them and have had them all over the house this year decorating things and getting into elf mischief 🙂

  6. What beautiful (and fun) cookies! I can’t eat peppermint in any form so I’m wondering… Would these still taste good just to make them as sugar cookies in the 2 colors and maybe sprinkle some large sugar crystals on the top? I love the way they look. What do you think? =^..^=

    1. Hi Fran ! YUP !! This recipe will work well without the peppermint flavoring and crushed candy. I’ve done it that way, from time to time. If you like almond flavoring, that can be substituted for the peppermint. Or, just up the vanilla instead. They will still be a yummy addition to your Christmas cookie platter. Have a wonderful Christmas !

  7. Janice, your cookies look very festive as well as I am sure delicious. I’m sure your children loved you running the car over the candy cane. You are so right about the memories that we make with them—It’s the little things in life that really make a difference. Merry Christmas to you and yours! ♥

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