Everyone always asks me what my favorite cookie is. I have a difficult time choosing between my cookie mixes... it really depends on the day. But there is one cookie that will forever hold the title of "my most favorite", and it can't be captured in a jar (at least I haven't figured out how to do it, yet).
Candy Cane Cookies, a family recipe passed down from my Nana (Dolores) to my mom (Candee), and then to me. Making these cookies alongside my mom in the kitchen of our old farmhouse I grew up in is one of my first and happiest memories.
I admit, this recipe is not for the faint of heart. It takes patience, and you must accept that the first (or first few) cookies you try to shape will likely need to be thrown out. But stick with it, and I'm confident they will be your new favorite holiday recipe, too.
Here's our family recipe:
Candy Cane Cookies
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp red food coloring
Combine flour and salt. Thoroughly mix butter, shortening, confectioner's sugar, egg, and extracts. Incorporate flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into two even balls. Mix red food coloring into one of the dough balls. Wrap both dough balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove dough balls from refrigerator. Take one heaping tsp of white dough and one heaping tsp of red dough, form into ropes, then combine into one rope. Twist rope to make dough into a candy cane pattern. Place rope onto an ungreased, parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Curve top of dough rope into candy cane shape. Repeat until all of your dough is used.
Bake cookies at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Be careful not to overbake or bottoms of cookies will burn.
Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.