Candy Cane Cookies

One of my favourite childhood memories is baking Christmas cookies – though I didn’t always stick to Christmas theme and five-year-old me would invariably get distracted and start making giraffes, hippos and Noah’s Ark instead. In any event Christmas baking is still one of my favourite things, especially sugar cookies with pretty decorations.
This year I decided to try candy cane cookies. They were simple, easy and loads of fun. You can just use any old sugar cookie recipe, but here is the one that I used.

Ingredients to make about 25 candy cane cookies:
2 ½ cups cake flour
225g salted butter (at room temperature)
1 cup icing sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence
red food colouring
Making the Dough
1. Mix the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until it is creamy.
2. Add the egg yolks and vanilla essence, and mix until combined.
3. Slowly add the flour, and mix until you have a smooth dough.
4. Divide your dough into two parts. Colour one half with red food colouring.
5. Wrap the balls of dough in cling wrap and leave it in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. This will make it easier to handle.
6. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with baking paper (NOT wax paper).

Making the candy canes
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. When the dough has cooled, you can make your candy canes. Take equal sized pieces of red and white dough, and roll them into strands of about 12cm each then put the two strands next to each other and twist them together into a candy cane.

3. Bend the one end of the cane into a hook shape and gently put your candy cane cookies onto the baking sheet. Remember to leave space in between the cookies, they’ll expand when they bake. When your baking sheet is full, you can place it in the fridge again for 10-15 minutes. This will help the cookies hold their shape while baking.

4. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown. Let the cookies cool completely on the parchment paper before you move them.

These candy canes are a winner, whether you are baking for just-for-fun with your little ones, or you want to impress your friends or family with handmade presents at Christmas time. Happy candy cane baking and eating everyone.

Download print-friendly recipe

If you’re planning some holiday baking, check out this article on the top 10 baking tools this festive season.