While I’ve never been a huge Christmas person, there have always been a few things that I love about the season. Obviously, I love all the food and the fact that Christmas means lots of cookies. I’m also a big fan of twinkle lights, having any excuse to spend extra time with friends and family, and candy canes. Candy canes are just so darn cute, and I’m here for the combination of red and white.
When I was working on my Candy Cane Shortbread Sugar Cookie recipe, it occurred to me that it would obviously be the perfect flavor to make into some shaped candy cane cookies.
How to Make Candy Cane Twist Cookies
- Make one batch of red, and one batch of white candy cane shortbread sugar cookie dough and chill overnight, or for at least 4 hours.
- For the red dough, I just added red food coloring.
- To get my white dough as white as possible, I used one an egg white, instead of a full egg, and I added about a teaspoon of liquid whitener food coloring.
- Cut each batch of dough in half. It’s much easier to only work on half of the cookies at a time so the dough doesn’t get too warm.
- Knead the dough and roll into log shapes.
Keep a damp tea towel or washcloth handy to wipe your hands between working on different colored dough. That way you avoid getting red streaks in your white dough!
- Cut each log into equal pieces.
I cut each log into 16 pieces, and they made fairly large 5″ candy cane cookies. Cut into smaller pieces if you would like to make smaller candy cane cookies.
- Roll one piece of red and one piece of red dough into 4″ long ropes.
- Gently press the ropes together.
Try to avoid using flour to roll out dough. Flour will prevent the 2 ropes from sticking together. If the ropes won’t stick together, dip your finger in some water and run it along one of the ropes before pressing them together.
- Twist the 2 ropes together.
- Roll out the twisted ropes into one larger rope.
- You may have to twist the rope it a few times while rolling.
- At this point it is easier to use a little bit of flour to keep dough from sticking to the surface you’re rolling it out on.
- Shape rope into a candy cane shape.
- Place cookies on parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined cookie sheet.
- Leave some space between cookies, as these do spread a bit.
- Return to fridge or freezer until firm to the touch before baking.
- Bake and enjoy how cute these little guys are!
- Cookies will stay fresh for up to a week, in an airtight container, at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
- You can freeze baked cookies for up to a month.
- Dip or drizzle in chocolate for chocolate candy cane cookies!
Candy Cane Twist Cookies
- measuring spoons and cups
- mixing bowls
- cling wrap
- cookie cutters
- large knife
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg (use only egg white for white dough) room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons peppermint emulsion or extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- *red food coloring for red dough, liquid whitener for white dough
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Whisk flour and cornstarch together and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugars with paddle attachment, on medium-low speed, until fluffy and pale in color (about 5 minutes).
- Add egg, extracts, and red food coloring* (red for red dough, whitener for white dough) and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the paddle with a spatula, and then continue to mix on low speed for another 30 seconds to ensure everything is fully incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients, all at once, and mix on low speed just until dough starts to come together and no dry bits remain. Do not overmix.
- Turn dough out onto cling wrap, tightly wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
- Knead dough and cut each batch into 16 equal pieces. Roll one piece of red and one piece of white into ~4" ropes, twist ropes together, roll again, shape into candy cane shape and place on baking sheet.
- Place shaped cookies back in fridge or freezer until firm to the touch.
- Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 1-5 minutes until edges are starting to darken.
- Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet before handling.
- When rolling out dough ropes to form candy cane, try to avoid using flour so that the 2 ropes stick together.
- The reason for adding 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to your dough is to prevent your cookies from shrinking or spreading during baking.
- This recipe makes 16 fairly large 5″ candy cane cookies. You can also divide each batch of dough into 32 pieces to make mini candy cane cookies.