It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Aka, baking season 🙂 I’m getting a kickstart on my Christmas cookie list and baked twist candy cane cookies.
These cookies are made with shortbread dough flavored with peppermint extract. Each bite has buttery peppermint flavors that melt away in your mouth!
If you’re anything like me, you have a baking list that is never ending around the holidays. There are so many recipes to try! I’m lucky if I get halfway through it.
These candy cane cookies were on my list last year and didn’t make the cut, but boy am I happy that I made them this year!
I am personally a huge fan of shortbread cookies and their buttery flavor. These twist candy cane cookies have a shortbread cookie dough base and a few extra steps make them just like candy canes.
First off, the dough is flavored with peppermint extract to achieve that unique candy cane taste. Then, the dough is divided and half of it is dyed red. Now the fun part begins—twisting!
The twisting part is pretty easy (the recipe video below shows how it’s done). It felt a lot like I was molding play dough!
Take about two tablespoons of dough and roll it into a six-inch long strand about one-third inch thick. Twist two strands together and bend the top into a hook to look like a candy cane!
Candy cane cookies are perfect for gifting around the holidays. They’re also a fun cookie to make with kids (like I said, it’s like playing with play dough).
Check out the recipe video below and see how easy these cookies are to make!
Candy Cane Twist Cookies
Twist candy cane cookies are a must-make for Christmas! Red and white peppermint shortbread cookie dough is twisted together to look like candy canes.
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red food coloring
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until the batter looks soft, about 90 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the egg, vanilla, and peppermint. Mix until combined. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour and salt. Mix just until combined (avoid overmixing).
Remove half the dough from the mixing bowl and set aside. Add 1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring to the remaining dough and mix on low speed. Add additional food coloring as needed until the dough is a bright, vibrant red.
Form each doughs into 1-inch thick discs, wrap each separately in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Remove both pieces of dough from the fridge and unwrap. Pinch off roughly 2 tablespoon and roll each into a thick rope about 6 inches long. Pinch the two ropes together at the top and gently twist them together. Transfer the twisted ropes to the baking sheet and gently "hook" the top to create a candy cane shape.
Repeat with the remaining dough. If the dough starts to break as you roll it or become hard to work with, put it back in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. When all the cookies have been shaped, chill both sheets of cookies for 15 minutes before baking — this helps the cookies hold their shape during baking.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges and tips of the cookies are just barely golden. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.
If you like twist candy cane cookies, you might like these recipes…