Candy Cane Cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie. With pretty swirled dough and that Candy Cane hook, these cookies couldn’t be more festive!
This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.
Candy Cane Cookies
Before I get into all the details, check out the video I made of how I prepare these cookies.
In my home, Candy Cane Cookies are only made in December to keep them a Christmas tradition, but that’s not an easy thing to do. They are such delicious cookies that my kids ask for them all year long! It’s hard to resist the temptation (because I love them as much as my kids) but seeing their excitement when I am baking these cookies makes it all worth it. The wait makes them even more special.
I break from tradition and dip my cookies in melted Hersheys Candy Cane Kisses. Typically Candy Cane Cookies are topped with a mixture of crushed candy cane and sugar, but years ago when I started making these for my children… they didn’t like candy canes. I tried making them this way and it was such a hit, I never turned back!There is also another benefit from dipping your cookies into the melted candy… structure! These cookies are delicate and the melted candy prevents them from breaking easily. Since these cookies do require a little more work than your typical cookie, strengthening them really is a wonderful thing. You don’t want to see all your work crumble and break.
Rolling Your Cookies
When you prepare your dough, you will notice it is very sticky. This is normal, don’t worry. However, it does make it a bit of a challenge to roll the cookies into a candy cane at first. I promise you after making these cookies you will get it down, though!
A lot of recipes will tell you to roll the cookies out on a surface dusted with flour, but I prefer another method. I roll them out on wax paper. To avoid drying my cookies out, I like to avoid adding more flour if I can. Wax paper allows me to do that.
Half of your dough will be uncolored and the other half will be colored red. To do this, I perfer to use Wilton’s no-taste red because red food color can have a yucky taste. You can find this at almost any craft store.
I take a sheet of wax paper and on one side I plop down the uncolored dough, on the other side I plop down the red dough. This helps hold the wax paper in place. Then, I like to portion out enough of each color to roll up about 5 or 6 candy canes. I do this by scooping rounded teaspoon sized balls of dough.
When you roll out your candy canes just take one of the uncolored balls and one of the red balls. Roll each one individually into a little rope. Then, twist the two ropes together a bit and roll the combined dough to one longer twisted rope. If this is confusing you, just check out my video to see what I mean.
I like to keep one of the ropes aside so I can measure all of the others against it. This gives me candy canes that are all the same size.
Baking Your Cookies
You will shape your cookies with that candy cane hook when you place them onto the cookie sheet. Bake them and then carefully remove them from the pan as soon as you can do so without breaking them. They will be less fragile once they have finished cooling on the cooling rack.
If you want to top your cookies the traditional way, now is when you would want to sprinkle them with a crushed candy cane and sugar mixture. Do not do this if you are going to dip them in melted candy as I did.
Dipping Your Cookies
When your cookies have cooled (this doesn’t take long) prepare your melted candy. I used Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, but you really could melt down any peppermint bark. Just add about a tablespoon of shortening to the candy before you stick it in the microwave. This will thin the melted candy out so you get a nice thin coating.
Place them directly onto wax paper so they are easy to peel up. At this point stick them in the fridge or freezer for a couple of minutes so the candy can re-harden. As soon as it does, peel the candy cane cookies off of the wax paper. Once you do that, the cookies can be left out at room temperature and stacked. If you don’t pull the cookies off of the wax paper as soon as you take them out of the cold temperature, the candy will soften and the cookies won’t come off cleanly.
The end result of this recipe is a beautiful cookie that tastes amazing. They may not be the quickest cookie to bake up, but they are the quickest to disappear! I definitely hope you give this one a try!
Merry Christmas and have fun baking! xoxo, Katie
These cookies are festive and delicious! Perfect to indulge in yourself, gift to loved ones, or leave out for Santa!
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- as needed red food coloring add slowly
- 10 ounces candy cane kisses or peppermint bark
- 1 tablespoon shortening
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and extracts.
Combine flour and salt in a separate small bowl and slowly add flour to wet ingredients.
Beat only until just combined.
Divide the dough in half. Set half aside and color the other half red. About 1/2 teaspoon should do. I use "no-taste" red food gel by Wilton.
Measure out 1 rounded teaspoon of each the red and uncolored dough per cookie. Use separate measuring spoons to avoid getting red in the uncolored portions.
Roll out each the red and the uncolored dough into small ropes separately first.
Then twist both ropes together slightly and roll out the combined rope until it's a little longer and smooth.
Place on parchment lined cookie sheet while curving the top of the rope to create the candy cane hook.
Bake for 9 minutes.
Immediately remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and place onto a cooling rack.
When your cookies have cooled, combine the peppermint bark (candy cane kisses unwrapped) and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl.
Heat for 1 minute at 50-60% power.
Stir and continue to heat in 30-second increments at 50-60% power until completely melted.
Be careful not to overheat and burn your candy. Take it slow.
Dip the bottom of the cookies into the melted candy, gently shake off excess, and place onto wax paper.
Place the cookies on the wax paper into the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to harden the candy.
Remove the cookies from the wax paper as soon as you take them out of the cold.
Store your cookies in an airtight container or a zip-top bag. Once your candy has set, you are safe to stack the cookies on top of each other.