It just doesn’t feel like Christmas around our house until I’ve made a batch of Candy Cane Cookies. These not-too-sweet, but oh so delicious candy cane twists are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.The light sprinkle of peppermint sugar gives these cookies the taste of Christmas, without an overwhelming mint flavor.

A favorite since childhood, this recipe comes straight from a 1970’s Betty Crocker “Cooky Book.” My mom surprised me a few years ago, and passed down the much-loved, tattered copy. The first thing I made? Candy Cane Cookies.

My own children now love to make and eat these Christmasy cookies with me, and they have become a staple in our holiday baking.


1 stick butter or margarine

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup powdered sugar (Yep…sounds weird, but it works!)

1 egg (Awesome recipe to make when you’re short on sugar and eggs!)

1 1/2 t almond extract (the secret gateway ingredient to holiday yumminess! Don’t judge me…I have a thing for almond extract!)

1 t vanilla

3 cups flour

1 t salt

red food coloring

1-2 candy canes

1-4 c(ish) sugar (I don’t measure…it keeps life interesting.)

To Prepare

1.Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. (Original recipe calls for your oven to be at 375, but you all know how I feel about overly crunchy cookies. Blech.)

2. Mix together your shortening, butter, powdered sugar, egg, and flavorings.

3. Stir in the flour and salt.

4. Divide the dough in half. Stir red food coloring into one half of the dough, until you get the color you want.

Now for the fun part! This is a FUN activity to do with your kids! My  kids LOVE helping to create these cookies. The cookies your little “helpers” create may not be as picture perfect, but you are creating a holiday memory!

5. Roll a dough “snake” of each color. Lightly press the two different colored “snakes” together and twist like a rope. I find it works best to twist the dough slowly and gently. Make each cookie one at a time so the dough doesn’t become crumbly.

6. Bake the cookies for about 9 minutes.

7. While the cookies are baking, take out your aggression on some innocent candy canes. Put one or two in a zippered sandwich bag and whack them with a meat mallet until you have fine pieces. Mix in about 1/4 cup of regular white sugar.

8. Once you remove the cookies from the oven, sprinkle them with the peppermint sugar. This will give the cookies that extra bit of sweetness and a delicious peppermint finish.