Friday, December 21, 2007

SugarPlum & Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies


The SugarPlum's school is out this week for the holidays. For the past couple of days, SugarPlum and one of her friends from her class are engaged in an extended playdate (3 days and counting...). Monday was the movie "Enchanted" and shopping at the mall. Yesterday was "Alvin & The Chipmunks" and shopping at the mall. Today was the Waffle House for breakfast, accompanying me to the barbershop, a couple of intense rounds of Hullabuloo, getting their nails did (my daughter has a small Christmas tree painted on her big toe nails), whipping up some chocolate milkshakes, and baking some cookies out of her friend's Christmas Cookies Cookbook.

Imagine the division of labor between 6- and 7-year old Montessori School students while trying to modify a recipe on the fly, successfully mixing all of the ingredients, facilitating the construction of candy canes made of dough, and then baking one batch of cookies. One breaks the eggs, while the other mixes them in a bowl. One measures the flour, while the other measures the sugar. I added the peppermint extract to the recipe, so that the cookies will taste more like a real candy cane.

The girls didn't appreciate the final product (it was more fun making them and they didn't look enough like a candy cane to them), but my wife and I really enjoyed the cookies. They are buttery, light, with a hint of almond and peppermint in each bite. I'll have a few tonight with a glass of milk after the girls are tucked into bed.

plezWorld Candy Cane Cookie recipe:
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon red food coloring

Beat together sugar and margarine until creamy with an electric mixer at medium speed. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract; set aside. Mix flour and baking powder; stir into butter & sugar mixture. Divide dough in halves: mix almond extract to one half, mix peppermint extract and food coloring with the other half. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Divide each half into 32 pieces; (and here comes the hard part) roll each into a 5-inch rope. Twist together one red and one plain rope and bend end to form candy canes. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden. Remove from baking sheets; cool on wire racks. Store in airtight container. Makes 2-1/2 dozen candy canes.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring!

5 comments:

David Sullivan said...

For a second I thought I was at Anali's spot! LOL. I have four days off in a row so theres no excuse for me not to try this recipe...oh..I am building a skating rink in the back yard..that might be my out.

Hathor said...

The kids might like it better with 1 tsp. vanilla, no almond and light on the peppermint. I think 4 tsp. flavoring for 3 cups flour is a bit much, but each to his own.

plez... said...

david,
Anali continues to be my cooking muse... but i don't think my cooking (especially, with the help of 2 kids) comes close to hers! *smile*

hathor,
i like your suggestions... it may've been the almond flavor that the girls didn't like. i am not a REAL cook, so next time i'll leave out the almond extract. thanks for your help!

Anali said...

Oh cookies!!!! I love seeing cookies where I don't expect them. And even where I expect to see them. : )

I'm very impressed with your baking. Those are really pretty! I tried making a similar recipe a few years ago. It takes a long time to make the candy cane shape and I started getting annoyed after a while. I made a similar pinwheel cookie this year. It was much easier. There is a link to the recipe in today's post. For the extract, everyone has different tastes, so I'd just adjust it as you like. Merry Christmas!

plez... said...

anali,

a compliment from you, the master baker, is awesome... thanks for continuing to drop by... and i hope you enjoyed the cookies!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, Ya'll!