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Classic Candy Cane Butter Cookies

To make cookies that look like candy canes, we color half the dough in classic red and twist away. They're fun to hang on the side of a coffee mug, or you can devour them on their own. —Shannon Roum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Red paste food coloring


  • In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla; gradually beat in flour. Divide dough in half; mix food coloring into 1 half. Roll each dough portion into a 6-in. square. Wrap each in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cut each dough into 36 squares. Working with a quarter of the dough at a time, keep remaining dough refrigerated. Roll 1 piece of plain dough into a 6-in. rope; roll 1 piece of red dough into a 6-in. rope. Place ropes side by side. Lift left rope over the right; repeat to form a twist. Repeat with remaining dough. Curving top of each twist to form hook of cane, place 1 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake 7-9 minutes or until set. Cool on pans 3 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 90 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 19mg cholesterol, 57mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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  • Susan
    Dec 7, 2020

    Dough has good flavor but did not come together. It was too dry and crumbled when I attempted to roll out. Followed recipe to a T, chilled for 3 hours, cut into squares after the chill, went to roll and it just fell apart. Decided to press into stripes and roll with pin but it just kept crumbling. Ended up pressing semi-flat and cutting with cutters. Made some ugly cookies after all the effort.

  • Pat
    Nov 19, 2020

    Sorry,I forgot 2 mention that I color doughs b4 freezing Pat

  • Rene
    Dec 23, 2017

    I have to agree with the previous comment: They are very time consuming. A helpful tip: Form the refrigerated dough into 12" x 3" rectangle then cut in to 36 squares this step was omitted from the instructions. I make a mistake and substituted the butter with coconut oil to make a healthier cookie but it made it very difficult to roll out the 6" pieces. too oily I ended up just squishing it in to the rope shape then flopped the colored ropes to entwine them. They are tastey but maybe because I added peppermint extract and crushed peppermint candies to the dough.

  • mzgrinder
    Dec 11, 2015

    Cute,Good, but way to time consuming. Wrapped about a dozen then just pressed and cut the rest.