I’m still in the midst of baking cookies for this upcoming event (I’m at a solid 19 dozen right now) and this morning I had a small window to get one more batch done so came up with this new version based on two lonely candy canes that haven’t been devoured by my kids yet and my love for taking a tried and true recipe and tweaking it with a new variation.
I used the basic Quick and Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe (recipe below) but made 2 super simple tweaks to turn these into Candy Cane Cookies.
- In lieu of the Vanilla Extract, I substituted Peppermint Extract. I still added in the Almond Extract as mentioned in the recipe below.
- I placed 2 candy canes in a baggie and pounded them with a rolling pin to crush them into small bits and then added that to the batter along with the other dry ingredients. I chose a snowflake cookie cutter but it’s up to your imagination what shape you turn these into. Simple changes that transform this recipe in a cinch! BTW, if I had had another candy cane, I probably would have used 3 candy canes for the recipe.
TIP #1: I have a tip that will save you some time and mess and is different than what is mentioned below in the recipe. Instead of flouring a surface to roll out the dough. I have gotten into the habit of placing dough in between two sheets of professional size plastic wrap and then rolling out with a rolling pin until the desired thickness is reached. Remove top piece of plastic wrap and cut out the dough with cookie cutters. It’s super easy and saves clean up as well as the mess with the flour.
TIP #2: Make your cookies in advance and freeze them. Just remember before placing in freezer, make sure cookies are completely cool and then place in a sealed, air tight container or freezer bag. Remove from freezer and take to your event and they will be as good as new!
Candy Cane Cookies
2 sticks Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Peppermint Extract
1 tsp. Almond Extract
3 cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
3 Candy Canes, crushed
Coarse Sanding Sugar, if desired
Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl of a standard mixer, cream butter and sugar together until smooth, approximately 3-4 minutes. Beat in extracts and egg until thoroughly combined. Add in all-purpose flour, baking powder and crushed candy canes. To crush candy canes, place candy canes in baggie and pound with a rolling pin and/or mallet until candy canes are in small bits.
Mix until dough comes together and flour is fully incorporated. Roll out the dough in small batches onto lightly floured surface (or use trick below), making dough about 1/4” thick.
MESS-FREE TIP: Instead of flouring a surface to roll out the dough. Place dough in between two large sheets of professional size plastic wrap (Note: This type of plastic wrap is sold at any big box store such as Costco or Sam’s. Regular grocery store plastic wrap does not work the same.). First, lay out a large piece of plastic wrap. Set dough on top of it and then add another matching size sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the dough. Proceed to evenly roll out dough with a rolling pin (or you can also use your hands to smash it down) until the desired thickness is reached. Remove top piece of plastic wrap and cut out the dough with any size cookie cutter (we like to use snowflake cookie cutters). Repeat process until all dough is used. Fold up plastic wrap and discard.
Transfer cut-out cookies to baking sheet and, if desired, sprinkle with any color sanding sugar. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to wire rack. Frost, if desired.
Hope you give these a try this holiday season!
Printable version of recipe: quick-and-easy-sugar-cookies