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Candy Cane Cookies

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‘Tis the season for all things sweet, and these candy cane cookies have our hearts. White and red stripes of buttery dough are shaped into fun candy canes and topped with crushed peppermint for the most festive holiday cookie! Vanilla and peppermint extracts give these candy cane cookies a mint creamsicle flavor that will make any day feel extra merry and bright!

A candy cane cookie hooked on the edge of a glass of chocolate milk.

We love getting into the holiday spirit, especially when little helpers are around. 😉 Gather the kids or grandkids, pour some homemade hot chocolate and crank up those Christmas carols to set the tone for this fun holiday baking project!

These candy cane cookies are delicious, easy, and festive. And they are perfect for any holiday occasion, whether you’re spending a night in baking for the family or you’re looking for a cute Christmas cookie to complete a holiday cookie box.

Two candy cane cookies on a white marble background.

Ingredients for Candy Cane Cookies

To make a batch of these adorable candy cane cookies, you will need the following ingredients:

ingredients needed for candy cane cookies.
The ingredients.
Process photos showing how to make the dough for candy cane cookies.
Making the dough.

Our delicious Candy Cane Cookies recipe

This candy cane cookies recipe is so tasty and easy to make! Here are the simple steps (also shown in the photos below), and be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to see the full recipe.

  1. Cream the butter and sugar: Beat the butter and powdered sugar until it’s creamy and smooth. Add the peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and egg, beating until it’s well-combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and chill the dough: Add the flour and salt. Beat until the cookie dough is mixed well. Divide the dough in half. Stir the food coloring into half of the dough to make the red portion of the candy cane cookies. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
  3. Shape the candy cane cookies: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with a baking spray. Measure one teaspoon of the red dough and the white dough and roll each into a 4-inch rope. Line a red rope up next to a white rope, then twist them together. Pinch the ends slightly and place the twist on a baking sheet. Curve one end to form the candy cane shape.
  4. Bake and top: Repeat with the rest of the dough. This recipe will make about 48 candy cane cookies. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle the crushed candy on top, while they’re still warm.
process photos showing how to make candy cane cookies.
Forming the candy cane cookies.

pro tips for candy cane cookies

  • We’ve found that gel food coloring is the best way to go for this recipe. Traditional liquid food coloring will make the candy cane cookie dough too soft and much harder to shape and mold.
  • Make sure to sprinkle the crushed candy on the cookies while they’re still warm, then let them cool completely on the baking sheet. If the cookies cool down before the candy has a chance to stick to them, place the baking sheet back in the oven and for about 30-60 seconds. The residual heat will warm the crushed candy enough to slightly melt, and then it will adhere to the cookies.
  • The traditional flavor for candy canes is peppermint but if you’re not a peppermint fan you can change the flavor. Almond, lemon, and orange extracts are all great in this cookie but cut the amount in half.

We used real butter in this dough for REAL flavor. Butter tends to make cookie dough spread easier. These sweet buttery cookies will hold their shape because we are not using any leavening and we are keeping the dough cold. We are using the same secret we used when we made our easy Christmas cutout cookies. It’s our go-to sugar cookie recipe and one that we are sure you will love too.

Candy cane cookies with a glass of chocolate milk.

We love holiday baking and these adorable candy cane cookies are right up at the top of our list! Minty, buttery, and sweet, with a soft texture and crunchy peppermint candy, these sweet treats are simply irresistible!

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Classic English toffee is always a hit. That buttery, crunchy toffee candy gets topped with a layer of decadent chocolate.
  • Butterscotch Pumpkin Oatmeal cookies bring together the coziest fall flavors! These are made with oat flour, which means they’re also gluten-free!
  • Soft and Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies are crisp and crinkly on the outside, with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth inside. They’re perfectly spiced and totally addicting!

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Did you make this candy can cookies recipe? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below. 

Two candy cane cookies on a white marble background.

Candy Cane Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

What can be more fun than cookies that look like candy canes? White and red stripes of buttery cookie dough get twisted together and shaped to look like a traditional candy cane. Vanilla and peppermint extracts make these cookies taste like a mint creamsicle. Make this a fun project with the kids!

Ingredients

Optional crushed candy topping

  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. Add the peppermint extract, vanilla extract and egg. Beat well. 
  2. Add the flour and salt. Beat until well combined. 
  3. Divide the dough in half. 
  4. Stir the food coloring into half of the dough. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. The chilled dough will be easier to work with.

To make the candy canes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray. 
  2. Measure one teaspoon of each color dough and roll into a 4-inch rope. Line a red rope up next to a white rope then twist them together. Pinch the ends slightly and place on the cookie baking sheet. Curve one end of the twisted rope to form a candy cane shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  3. For best results, place the baking sheet (with the cookies on it) in the fridge for 1 hour or in the freezer for 20 minutes. Chilling the cookies right before you bake them will keep them from spreading. You can skip this step if you are able to shape the candy canes quickly without warming the dough up with your hands.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the crushed candy on the cookies while they are still warm. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. If the cookies cool down before the candy has a chance to stick to them, stick them back in the warm oven for 30 to 60 seconds. The crushed candy will start to melt and adhere to the cookies. 

Notes

Gel food coloring works best for this recipe. If you use traditional liquid food coloring then the cookie dough will get too soft and be difficult to work with.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Friday 13th of November 2020

They are so adorable and festive! Thanks for sharing the step-by-step tutorial, Dahn.

Dahn Boquist

Friday 13th of November 2020

Thanks Angie. We are getting excited about all the cookie baking ;)

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