If you’re looking for a simple Christmas-y cookie to take to the neighbors or a last-minute holiday party, this should be your go-to recipe.
The candy cane cookies are good enough on their own, but one year I decided to get all fancy schmancy and I dipped them in melted dark chocolate. Nothing enhances the peppermint flavor like some rich chocolatey goodness. I’ll never go back!
Candy Cane Cookies
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar (you know, powdered sugar)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 c. crushed candy canes (put them in a ziploc bag and bang on them with the bottom of a glass - you don’t want powder, just bitty pieces)
1/3 c. 60% cacao semisweet dark chocolate (or darker, if you live on the edge!)
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and peppermint extract; beat until fluffy. Sift dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture. Mix well, then knead in the crushed candy canes.
Roll into very small balls (about the size of a walnut). Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool on a rack. In the meantime, melt the chocolate. I like to do this in a poor man’s double broiler - just put 2 cups of water in a small saucepan and set a little mixing bowl full of your chocolate into the water so the bottom is submerged but not touching the bottom of the pan. Put it over a burner on high and as the water heats up, your chocolate will melt but not scald because it’s not on the direct heat. Alternatively, microwaving works, but you must be vigilant in stirring and checking so it doesn’t burn the chocolate.
When the chocolate is melted and the cookies completely cooled, spoon a bit of chocolate onto half of each cookie. I find it easiest to trace a line down the middle with the chocolate, and then fill in the rest. Don’t worry about doing the back side of the cookie; no one will look there anyway.
Once the cookies are “dipped,” carefully garnish each one with a few leftover bits of candy cane.
Aren’t they pretty?