Nothing quite says Christmas like sugar cookies and candy canes, so why not combine the two into this spectacular candy cane cookies recipe? These beautiful babies have been a holiday staple in my family for many years now.
Making Christmas cookies is one of the best parts of the season! Besides, of course, family gatherings, caroling, and hot cocoa. And let me tell you – these candy cane cookies are right at home on the tray between spritz cookies and biscoff cookies or center stage next to the Christmas crack.
They spread miles of warm friendly smiles and taste even better than they look – which is really sayin’ something!
Let’s bake these!
These gorgeous little candy cane cookies are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. We make two or three batches every year so we can enjoy them for the whole month of December.
- Absolutely de-lish
- Pretty Christmas colors
- Kids adore them!
This recipe is gonna’ make you look like a rock star in the kitchen.
- Flavor: These classic Christmas cookies are formed using a really good peppermint flavored sugar cookie dough.
- If you want a different flavor or someone doesn’t care for peppermint, then replace the peppermint extract with a ½ teaspoon almond extract. They’re both absolutely delicious!
- Chilling the Dough: This recipe calls for the dough to be chilled for 4 hours before shaping. This is an important step because it solidifies the butter in the cookies.
- Then when you bake the cookies, it will take longer for the butter in them to melt than it would if the butter was room temperature.
- This avoids the cookies from overspreading and losing their beautiful candy cane shape. It also helps to marry the flavors so the peppermint permeates the dough properly.
- Flour: To ensure that you don’t add too much flour to the dough of the cookies, which can make your finished cookie dry, don’t just scoop the flour out of the sack!
- Here’s the easy and best way to measure just the right amount without accidentally adding too much.
- Forming Cookie Canes: I know it’s tempting to roll out multiple cords and then try to make several cookies BUT you don’t want to do this.
- It’s best that you only form one cookie at a time. It’s a great family-friendly activity.
- Just roll out one white cord and one red cord, then form your candy cane. If you roll out multiple cords at a time, they may start drying before you can form your candy canes. Then the dough either crumbles or won’t stick together.
- If your cookie dough becomes too soft before you’ve formed all your candy cane cookies, just stick it back in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This recipe doesn’t need to go in the fridge. They’ll stay fresh and yummy on the counter for up to 2 weeks. Just let your cookies cool completely and make sure you store them in an airtight container. Because of their shape, they’re a little bit more delicate than say a round sugar cookie so, to avoid breakage, I like to store them in a rigid container like a cookie tin or airtight plastic-type. This isn’t a job for a resealable plastic bag.
Can You Freeze These Candy Cane Cookies?
Yes, these freeze well! Here are two options….
- Double wrap the two cookie dough discs before placing them in a freezer-safe bag. Slow thaw in the fridge overnight before forming and baking your candy cane cookies.
- Freeze the finished, baked cookies and store them as described above in a rigid, airtight container.
They’ll freeze for 6 months and taste great!
Make Ahead Tips
You’ll get the best results if your dough rests in the fridge for 4 hours or more, so I often leave mine overnight and then bake my cookies the next day.
Since these cookies keep so well you can actually make them a few days ahead of time, but you may want to hide a few (or make a double batch). The last time I did that, they all disappeared before I was supposed to serve them!
Cookies are synonymous with Christmas cheer and I absolutely L-O-V-E sugar cookies. Sweet, soft, pillowy, crunchy, frosted, decorated……oh, how I love thee!
- Classic Sugar Cookies: Were you looking for a more standard sugar cookie without the candy cane shape and no peppermint flavor. Try my no chill sugar cookies recipe or my Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Make it Cinnamony: If you want a cinnamon version of this cookie, feel free to add cinnamon to the dough. You can leave in the peppermint extract or, omit it, and add an equal quantity of vanilla. Or you can just make my cinnamon sugar cookies that melt in your mouth!
- Add chocolate. Just a few simple swaps and you can bring your chocolate fantasies to life. I have a wonderful chocolate Christmas cookies recipe that’s slathered with chocolate frosting and also a buttery, crumbly chocolate shortbread cookies you might prefer to try. Both will make grandma proud!
- Italian Fig Cookies
- Italian Christmas Cookies
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Christmas Butter Cookies
Candy Cane Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar sifted
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
- In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg, peppermint extract, and vanilla. Add in the flour and salt and mix well.
- Divide the dough in half and stir the red food coloring in half the dough. Shape both doughs into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with silicone cookie mats or parchment paper.
- For each candy cane, pinch off a rounded teaspoon of each dough and roll into a rope, about 4 inches long. Place the red and the white ropes next to each other and pinch them together at the top. Twist the two doughs together then gently bend the top into a hook. Place directly on prepared cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven 9-12 minutes or until cookies are set (do not brown or the cookies will be dry). When cookies are cool enough to handle, very carefully (they'll be super fragile) remove to a wire rack and cool completely.