Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies
Photo: Joy Howard
Active Time:
45 mins
Cool Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
3 hrs 5 mins
2 1/2 dozen cookies

Just like their confectionary counterparts, these whimsical cookies are flavored with peppermint, and make sweet accompaniment alongside a cup of hot cocoa or tea. Creating their signature shape is easy, but it will take a little practice and a gentle hand. Small portions of dough for each cookie are also essential to keep them from cracking as they bake. If the dough warms up as you work, return it to the refrigerator for 10 minutes. A nicely chilled dough will be easier to shape. We liked the pop of traditional Christmas colors for the cookies, but other festive holiday hues like light blue or pink would also work nicely.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Green food coloring

  • Red food coloring


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment and set on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, peppermint, and vanilla and beat to incorporate. Reduce the mixer's speed to low and blend in the flour mixture one-third at a time.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Roll it into a ball and flatten into a disk. Halve the dough. Wrap one portion in plastic and halve the other portion. Use the food coloring to tint one portion of the remaining dough red and the other green. Cover each with plastic and refrigerate all the dough portions for 2 hours.

  3. Heat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop and roll teaspoon-size portions of half the plain dough into balls and place on a plate. Repeat with the red dough. To make each candy cane, roll a ball of the plain dough into a 5- to 6-inch tube. Repeat with a ball of red dough. Arrange the two pieces side-by-side, then gently twist them together and pinch the ends. Transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet and shape into a candy cane. Repeat with the remaining dough portions, spacing them 2 inches apart (you should have enough to make about 15 cookies).

  4. Bake the cookies until set and lightly golden on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets. Repeat the shaping and baking steps with the remaining plain and green dough.

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