I’m going to make a quick confession before I start today’s blog post: I am really not good at baking. I have a blog about it, but I don’t want anyone getting their hopes up and thinking that everything I post on here will be a success story about a tasty treat. Sometimes, things are going to turn out as utter failures, but I’ll post it here anyway so maybe you can all learn from my mistakes.
With that said, let’s make some cookies!
It’s officially December, which means it’s time for Christmas-themed everything. I thought: what better way to kick off the month than with some candy cane-shaped sugar cookies?
Here’s the recipe that I used for reference. I modified it a little, though, because I am not a big fan of the taste of peppermint. I do love cookies though, and candy canes look cute, so I figured why not give it a try. The things that I left out of this recipe were peppermint extract and crushed peppermint candy.
Anyway, here’s what you will need for my version:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- red food coloring
- 3 1/2 cups of flour
I’ll come right out and say that my first mistake was thinking I could make these cookies without an electric mixer. I am sure someone could do it, but it’s extremely difficult to mix together the ingredients without one, and by the time I got to the food coloring my hand was cramping like nobody’s business.
So to start, get an electric mixer and stir together the sugar, butter, milk, egg and vanilla. Make sure the butter is soft so that there are not any clumps left over in the dough.
Next, add in the 3 and a half cups flour one cup at a time, stirring frequently to make sure it all blends together. Then add in the baking powder.
Once the dough is done, split it into two sections and start adding food coloring. I went to three different stores in my area to find red food coloring, but eventually I got some and I chose to use red and green. For a classic red and white candy cane, just leave one section of the dough uncolored.
To make the candy cane, put flour on a flat surface and take teaspoon-sized sections of each color. Roll them between your palm and the surface until they turn into long strings of dough, and then twist the two pieces together. This was the part where I ran into some trouble. I have no advice for this part other than to be patient and go slow when trying to twist the dough together, because it is very soft and ver hard to pick up without it breaking. It’s also going to require a lot of flour to make sure they do not stick to the surface or hands.
Once they’re twisted up, they need to go in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This is going to help them stay in a twist and make them easier to move onto the baking pan. Once the are done freezing, put them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Then they’re done! In my first round I only made six cookies, but it gets easier to do with practice, so keep trying! I also recommend putting cocoa in one of the twists. I saw that method on a different recipe and I think it would add a lot of flavor.
Enjoy this holiday treat and remember that it’s the effort that counts. Good luck!