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Christmas Candy Cane Cookies

These cookies were a holiday tradition in my family since I was a young child. Now my own family requests them before any others at Christmas. —Pat Schmeling, Germantown, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    4 dozen


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup peppermint candy, crushed
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Divide dough in half; mix the food coloring into 1 portion. Cover and refrigerate both doughs for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
  • Shape 1 teaspoon plain dough into a 4-in. rope. Shape 1 teaspoon red dough into a 4-in. rope. Place ropes side by side; press together lightly and twist. Place on an ungreased baking sheet; curve top of cookie down to form handle of cane. Repeat with remaining plain and red dough, placing cookies 2 in. apart on baking sheets.
  • Bake at 375° for 8-9 minutes or until set. Combine the crushed candy and sugar; sprinkle warm cookies with candy mixture. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Test Kitchen tip: If you prefer smaller Christmas cookies, use 1/2 tsp. each of white and red dough to make these candy canes, and roll the ropes to 2 in. long. Reduce the baking time to 6-8 minutes. Finely crushed peppermint candy adheres well to the warm cookies.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 86 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 48mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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  • muffbear74
    Dec 19, 2019

    I, too, used to make these with my mother, and hadn’t made them in years. The peppermint coating was new and a nice touch. A pretty addition to your cookie plate.

  • Emily
    Dec 10, 2019

    These cookies taste absolutely amazing and look very festive. I will say that they are a bit time consuming to roll out; a true labor of love if you will. However, I believe the efforts are rewarded. The first time I made these, my white dough was too dry and crumbled when I tried to roll it out. This was remedied by dabbing a finger in water and working it into each white dough portion as I rolled them out. The red dough was fine since it had a little added moisture from the food coloring.

  • germanycook
    Dec 8, 2015

    Made these for the first time after many years, so fun! I would add more almond extract next time just to amp up the flavour, but overall I was really happy how these turned out. You definitely need to chill the dough at least 2 hours otherwise it will just crack and crumble as you roll the cookies out.

  • jlclawson
    Nov 10, 2015

    My kids and I make these most years at Christmas:) Actually my kids make them now. They love rolling them up and turning them into pinwheel cookies too. Its a great holiday recipe that adds a lot of cheer to that goodie plate:)

  • Xylona
    Jan 4, 2015

    This is the original cookie cane recipe printed early on by Betty Crocker in one of their cookbooks. I got my copy of the book about 1974. This is the original no matter what else you read. I have tried different ways, as in adding peppermint, but my family vetoed it. LOL