Thursday, December 20, 2007

Candy Cane Cookies

Tuesday Evening I participated in a Cookie Swap with some ladies from my ward. I made this particular cookie recipe for a couple of reasons. First, this is a family tradition dating back to the early years of my Grandma Grahams marriage. She made these every year of my childhood and my Uncle Joel has carried on the tradition with a twist. His twist is that he makes 6 batches or more with various colors and has everyone "create" their own cookie. In the past we've had children in a snowball fight, a UPS truck, Christmas trees, Christ in a Manger, and MANY others. The kids have a great time eating their "play dough" as cookies. Second, related to the first, it just doesn't seem like Christmas without them. So Tuesday gave me the perfect opportunity to bake up some Christmas Comfort. Enjoy!

Cream together:

1/2 Cup shortening (butter or original)
1/2 Cup butter/margarine
1 Cup confectioner sugar, sifted
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional, I usually don't add this.)
1 teaspoon vanilla (if I don't use almond extract I increase this by 1/2 tsp)
(I add food coloring at this stage of the "game" because adding them later makes them heavy and stiff.)
Sift together and Add:
2 1/2 Cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt

Candy Cane topping;
1/2 Cup crushed candy cane, make into a powder
1/2 Cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Let dough refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before handling. Shape dough and dough in Candy Cane topping or sprinkle over the top. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Recipe yields approximately 2 dozen 6-inch candy canes.

***As a side note, from start to finish (i.e. mixing the doughs, refrigerating them, rolling them out and baking them) was 3 1/2 hours. All said, not bad. We had fun in the kitchen. I just didn't make dinner, we got Chipotle. :)