Our Candy Cane Cookie Tradition

Ever since I can remember, my Mom always made Candy Cane Cookies at Christmas time.

They get eaten very quickly, so usually, we would make them either the 23rd or 24th of December. I have continued the tradition with my own kids, and now all of our grown kids are carrying it on with their own children.

Our Candy Cane Cookie Tradition

Every year in the days leading up to Christmas we still do a family baking day.

The girls (all grown) insist on it because we bake every family favorite, all in one day. The “manly men” usually barbecue and we girls make a big mess while shooing little ones out of the way, sipping Mulled Wine, and eating cookie dough. (YES, we eat cookie dough! )

At the very top of the favorites on the cookie list is my Gramma’s Candy Cane Cookie recipe.

Candy Cane cookies are wonderful, minty but not too sweet pieces of Christmas deliciousness. Make some for your family!


1 c. sugar
1 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 egg
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red food coloring or equivalent natural coloring
2 candy canes, crushed to powder, mixed with 2 Tbl. white sugar

1.  Cream sugar and butter, then add egg, milk, and extracts and mix well.
2.  Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix into the creamed mixture.
3.  Divide dough in half; add red coloring to one dough ball and mix until it is evenly colored.
4. Refrigerate at least one hour. This is important! Warm dough is too sticky to roll out.
5. Flour your surface or use a Silpat mat. Take 1 tsp. of each color of dough, and roll each into a rope. Lay your ropes side by side, and twist them together to form a candy cane.
6.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes.
7.  Sprinkle the crushed sugar/candy mixture over the cookies immediately after removing them from the oven.

Makes as many or as few candy cane cookies as it makes. :) The original recipe says 4-1/2 dozen but we never get more than about 24 cookies!!

All of our kids LOVE to make these cookies, but if this sounds like too much dough handling try these:

  • You can take a piece of each color, roll them into a ball together and flatten with the bottom of a cup (like peanut butter cookies) so you’ll have round ones.
  • You can also take two ropes of dough (one red, one white) and put it through a cookie press. We did both yesterday too, but the candy canes are just the best!!

Candy Cane Cookies


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