Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies
Buttery and crisp, these festive cookies will leave a lasting impression. Little ones will love their fun shape and everyone will love their sugary, buttery flavor. A great project to get the kids to help with!
I had the opportunity to, once again, participate in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. If you’re not familiar with the cookie swap you’re in for a real treat! The swap is sponsored by two food bloggers, Lindsay and Julie, along with California Olive Ranch, OXO, Sheila’s Brownie Brittle and Dixie Crystals. Food bloggers from all over the world (YES, the WORLD!) sign up to participate and make a small donation. All donations go to Cookies For Kid’s Cancer and this year the program has raised over $12,000! There are 566 participants in 7 countries this year. What better excuse is there to whip up some fun and tasty cookies….because I’m always looking for and running out of excuses. 🙂
Plus….cookies, then, magically appear in my mailbox from three other bloggers that participated in the swap as well. Win, win, win! And at the end of the week, there will be a huge cookie roundup that I will share with all of you. I know everyone becomes a baking machine this time of year whether they love it or not and it always helps to have a little cookie inspiration thrown in your inbox….don’t you think? So, watch out for the roundup ’cause I’m slinging it your way in a few days.
This year, I wanted to bring back something from my childhood. And since we’re baking for kid’s, I decided to do something WITH kids. Well, my kid. One toddler (the teen was hiding in a mountain of clothes…aka, her room). And if you’re a freak about messes in the kitchen….I’m sorry but you’re just going to have to let it go this one time. Because this cookie needs little hands. It’s just so much fun for them and if you don’t have any little hands around….it’s fun for you too. A glass of wine would be nice too but someone will have to pour it in your mouth…unless you have an extra arm. This is a two handed cookie making task. Wine can wait. Maybe.
My mom made these every year (I remember every year but it may have only been once….however, they are forever etched in my brain.) I never made them because they just seemed too complicated and….I couldn’t find the recipe. Then, once upon a time…I was cleaning out my recipe box (yep, still have one) and low and behold….the Candy Cane Cookies! They weren’t called shortbread cookies but I felt that needed to be added to the description for you all….just so you know what you’re in for, taste-wise. They’re not a traditional shortbread but the flavor and texture is all there. So, to me….shortbread. You can call them whatever you like…I will never know.
If you’re a food blogger and interested in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap you can sign up for an email notification to participate next year HERE. Julie and Lindsay are on top of things and they get the notices out waaaay early. This is my second year participating and it was, again, an awesomely tasty experience. Thank you, Julie and Lindsay for organizing such an amazing program!
Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Christmas red food color I use Wilton Paste...it's the best in my opinion
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the baking powder, salt and flour. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, almond extract, vanilla, and salt. Slowly add the flour into mixture in small amounts, beating until just combined.
- Remove half the dough from the bowl and blend red food coloring into the half remaining in the bowl until the coloring is even and bright red. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel to keep it from drying out as you work. Using a floured teaspoon to measure 1 teaspoon each of white and red dough for each cookie and roll into 4-inch ropes on a lightly floured surface. Place a red and white rope side-by-side, press together lightly and twist to form a spiral. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and curve the top down to form the handle of the candy cane. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cookies, carefully, to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.