These delicious Candy Cane Cookies are soft, pepperminty, and make the perfect Christmas treat for the holidays. Flavored with classic peppermint and shaped with an adorable red and white twist, this recipe is a must-try!
These cookies are really easy to make at home, and I will share so many tips in the post so you can make the perfect-looking candy canes! Make sure to review them all before getting started.
These are the best cookies to make during the holidays, and you will not be able to eat just one! If you are making a cookie exchange or a cookie box, you will love the cream cheese Spritz cookies but also these classic snowball cookies.
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What Goes into Candy Cane Cookies?
The ingredients that are needed to prepare the cookies are really simple and basics.
- Soft and cubed butter
- Granulated sugar
- Peppermint flavor extract
- Red food coloring
- Real candy canes – optional
- Color: The typical look would be red and white but you can adapt the food color to green if you wish.
- Flavor: You can substitute the peppermint for vanilla or almond extract.
In terms of utensils, these are pretty minimal too:
- A large bowl
- A whisk or fork to cream the butter
- Baking sheet
- Lined baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat
- Optional: a silicone mat to shape your candy cane cookies
TIP: If you are doing a double batch, you can use the stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
How to Make Candy Cane Cookies
Before diving into the recipe, let me tell you you are going to enjoy baking these cookies as there are really easy to make and present so well. If you have kids, this is a great activity for them.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. You will be changing the consistency of the room temperature butter into a spread-like texture.
Then, add the egg and the peppermint extract and mix some more until smooth.
Finally, add the flour gradually and continue mixing until you obtain a smooth and non-sticky ball.
Now, divide the dough into two equal parts. Set one aside; it will be your white dough. And, on the other one, drop some red food coloring and knead the dough until uniform.
TIP: I push with my thumb to make a dent in the dough and place my food coloring there so it does not drip everywhere.
Lastly, wrap each dough separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. This is a step you can’t skip as you need the fat to be cold.
In the meantime, prepare your mat to work your dough (or prepare a clean surface such as a table or a counter) and a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also, this is a good time to preheat the oven.
Now, take a small piece of white dough (I use an ice cream scoop and use half a scoop) and roll it out into a rope. Repeat the same with the red dough. They should be about 6 inches long.
Then, place each rope side by side and gently twist them and give them candy cane shapes. (see picture below)
How cute and easy is that?
TIP: If the dough is a little sticky, dust a pinch of flour. Repeat as needed but make sure you add very little otherwise your ropes won’t hold well together.
Gently place all your candy canes on the baking tray and bake.
Optional: Using a mortar and pestle, crush some real candy canes into dust so you can sprinkle them on your cookies. Do not sprinkle before baking as it will melt and change the texture of the cookie and not present as well but still delicious.
TIP: Once baked, allow them to cool completely before handling them. You can transfer them gently on a wire rack.
They are ready! You can now offer them, add them to your Christmas cookie tray, exchange, or devour them!
- In an air-tight container, you can keep the baked cookies up to 5 days or so.
- In the freezer: You can freeze the cookies before baking and bake them once you want some. Or, you can freeze them once baked. Delicately place them in a container and once you want to eat some, allow to thaw out completely.
- In the fridge: if you want to make the dough ahead of time, you can store it in the fridge for 48 hours.
FAQ For The Candy Cane Cookie Recipe
How do you decorate candy cane cookies? These cookies are already cute the way they are. However, if you wish to enhance the presentation, you can dust some candy cane powder on it or sprinkle some icing sugar.
Can you Freeze Candy Cane Cookies? Yes, before baking them or after. Please refer to the storing tips above.
How do you crush candy canes for cookies? If you own a mortar and pestle, break the cane canes down and crush them with the mortar. Otherwise, you can simply place the candy canes in a plastic bag and tap with a wooden spoon or mallet to obtain crushed candy canes.
What is the traditional candy cane flavor? The original version is peppermint, but nowadays, you find many variations.
What can I do with candy canes? If you have some leftovers after the recipe, you can add them to decorate your Christmas tree, holiday table or simply eat them!
Why don’t we use baking powder or baking soda in the recipe? These 2 ingredients would promote the spreading of the cookie, which we do not want.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes You Will Love
- Cherry Almond Florentine Cookies: A French crunchy confection marrying nuts and cherries with caramel and chocolate.
- Easy no-bake Grinch Cookies: A cute and easy baking project.
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies: an oldie but a goodie, you can’t go wrong with this classic!
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- 1 cup of butter, cubed and soft
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, medium
- 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract
- 2 cups of flour
- 8 drops of red coloring
- 2 candy canes - optional
- In a large bowl, using a fork, cream the butter and sugar. (You may use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.)
- Then, add the egg and the peppermint extract and mix some more until smooth.
- Add the flour gradually and mix some more until you obtain a smooth and non-sticky ball.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. Set one aside; it will be your white dough. And, on the other one, drop some red food coloring and knead the dough until uniform.
- Wrap each dough separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Prepare a space to work your dough (a mat, table, or counter) and a baking sheet with parchment paper for baking.
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Take a small piece of white dough (I use an ice cream scoop and use half a scoop) and roll it into a rope. Repeat the same with the red dough. They should be about 6 inches long.
- Place each rope side by side and gently twist them and give them a candy cane shape.
- Gently place all your candy canes on the baking tray and bake for 13 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before handling them.
- Optional: Crush some candy canes into dust so you can sprinkle them on your cookies. Do not sprinkle before baking as it will melt and change the texture of the cookie.
Remember to read the post before baking, as you will find great tips to make this recipe successfully.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 138Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 64mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.