Friday, December 23, 2011

Feeding Friendship: Candy Cane Cookies

When Sarah picked peppermint as our ingredient, I knew immediately that I was going to make my Grandma’s candy cane cookies.  She’s made these every year for as long as I can remember.  The cookies themselves are a basic shortbread-like cookie, but what really makes them are the bright red stripes of peppermint frosting. 

I took a few liberties with the recipe for the dough.  I didn’t have much shortening on hand so I replaced half of it with butter (which I had tons of after overbuying for making gingerbread).  I also increased the amount of vanilla extract and left out the butter flavoring (since I don’t have it and I had added butter).  The result of subbing in the butter was a more puffy and tender cookie than the crisp one I’m used to.  The butter added a nice flavor that I liked, but I missed the crunch.  Next time I may sub only ¼ of the shortening for butter.

Once the dough is made, Grandma uses her cookie press to make cane shapes using a circular die with jagged edges.  I was excited to use my cookie press for the first time and had the dough loaded before I realized that of the twelve dies mine came with, none of them was the one I needed.  Luckily, I own a huge star tip for my piping icing.  Unluckily, my hand gave out after piping about three dozen of the candy canes that way.  I understand now why cookies presses need metal parts – that dough is stiff!  I decided to freeze the rest of the dough for other applications in January.

I went ahead and baked the cookies that I had while I made the frosting. The key is to add enough peppermint extract to get a strong enough flavor to stand up to the plain cookie.  Remember that you will only be putting a small amount of frosting on each cookie.  Once cooled, I piped on stripes and took them to a Christmas party where they were promptly devoured to rave reviews!  It’s so nice to be able to have a taste of my childhood at Christmas.

Candy Cane Cookies
adapted from Grandma Cris
Makes 5 dozen

3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. Crisco
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1/4 c. milk
2 tbsp. vanilla

1 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. butter, softened
1.5-2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Red food coloring
Peppermint extract to taste

1. Cream together butter, Crisco, and sugar.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients.
2. Transfer dough to a piping bag and pipe into candy cane shapes onto a lightly greased or lined cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes.
4. To make frosting, sift powdered sugar and mix in all other ingredients.
5. Once cooled, pipe lines of frosting onto cookies.

1 comment:

  1. Very cute and festive! I've had my own hand-numbing experience just trying to pipe some cupcake icing, so I can hardly imagine doing cookie dough. It looks great, though!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...