Thursday, December 29, 2011

Candy Cane Cookies

Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Candy canes are a traditional candy that you find at this time.  I've heard people say that the shape of the candy is a shepherd's staff because Jesus is the good Shepherd and that the red color is used to symbolize the blood he shed as the sacrifice to pay the debt for our sins.  Whether or not that is really why they are red and white or shaped in a crook, I don't know.  But it's a neat reminder of Jesus' sacrifice for us! 
Right after I made those molasses cookies I made these peppermint butter cookies.  I had planned to make them before our holiday schedule started, but I seemed to run out of time.  These do require a brief, 30-minute chill time (or could be made the night before and pulled out when you want to use them...that's what I did) but they are fun and worth it.

  My dad liked them but, I think, prefers the traditional nut butter cookie.  The peppermint adds a fun, holiday spin on it, though.  Joanie, Mama's best friend, thought they were SO cute!  Such fun to tell her they were from the cookbook she gave me for my birthday last year.  :-)  Try them out sometime...I think they're still appropriate for a New Year's party!

Peppermint Crescents from Southern Living Incredible Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar (you'll use a TOTAL of 2 2/3 cups)
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar, for dipping
1 cup powdered sugar, for icing
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
coarsely crushed peppermints

Cream butter in electric mixer until smooth.  Add 2/3 cup powdered sugar and extract.  Gradually add flour to the butter mixture.  Place dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes (or overnight).  When ready, preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Pull off about a walnut sized piece of dough and roll into a 2-inch roll.  Shape it into a crescent and place on a baking stone.  Keep shaping until pan is full.  Bake for 18 minutes. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool for one minute.  Then roll warm cookies in powdered sugar.  Repeat above process until all the dough is used.  You will have about 36 cookies. 
In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, milk, and extract to make a glaze.  Drizzle this over the cooled cookies.  Then sprinkle the peppermint bits over the icing and press gently to settle the candy.  Allow icing to set.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Mmm, such pretty cookies and perfect for Christmas. I hope you'll come by and link them up to Sweets for a Saturday.