This is the recipe of legend, people. I based a book around it, coincidentally called Candy Cane Kisses. (And the book is free today and tomorrow, by the way, if you don’t already have a copy.)
These cookies taste like a pepperminty dream and making them is a … less pleasant dream. But I promise you they are worth every single fiddly minute.
Candy Cane Cookies
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp almond flavoring
¼ tsp peppermint flavoring
½ tsp red food coloring
Mix first 4 ingredients together well. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
Divide dough into two equal portions. To one half, add almond flavoring. To the other half, add the peppermint flavoring and food coloring. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (This is where Lindsay, my heroine, went wrong and it was definitely based on real life.)
Roll 1 tsp of each color dough into ropes about 5-6 inches long. Lay side by side. Pinch ends together. Twist to form a spiral. Keep dough and rolling surface cool. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and shape to form a cane. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes until pale gold. Cool on baking sheet 2-3 minutes then remove. (Transfer with care; these cookies are delicate.) Makes about 2 and a 1/2 dozen.
Based on recipe from “Company’s Coming: Cookies” by Jean Pare, 1988