Candy Cane Sugar Cookies Recipe

Candy cane sugar cookies are the perfect recipe for your holiday festivities. The red and white frosting is a cheerful classic for Christmas, and it also makes these cookies look gorgeous and taste delicious. They stay fresh for a long time, making them perfect sweet treat to prepare in advance during the busy holiday season.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

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Make the Dough

Things You'll Need

  • 6.7 ounces (190 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • 10.6 ounces (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Alternatively, you could also use hand-held electric beaters for this step. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Pause mixing to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add in the egg and vanilla bean extract. Beat for one more minute until combined. Set the mixer speed to medium-low. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat until just combined. The dough should be soft and fluffy.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Form it into a disc and cover it with a layer of plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or until firm.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Tip

  • If you wish to prepare the dough in advance, simply store it in the freezer for up to 1 month before using.

Bake the Cookies

Things You'll Need

  • Rolling pin
  • Baking tray
  • Non-stick parchment paper
  • Candy cane cookie cutter

Pre-heat the oven to 340 Fahrenheit (170 Celsius). Line a large baking tray with non-stick parchment paper. Set aside.

Remove the firm dough from the refrigerator and place it onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it roughly reaches a thickness of a 1/4 inch (.63 centimetres). Then, use the candy cane cookie cutter to cut out as many shapes from the dough as possible. Set the candy canes onto the baking sheet, allowing enough distance for spreading. Knead any scraps together, then re-roll the dough and cut out as many shapes from the remainder as possible.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Transfer the baking tray to the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden around the edges, slightly puffed and the centers are just firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes, before carefully setting them out and onto a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Make the Icing

Things You'll Need

  • 1 pound (450 grams) powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Red food dye

Place the powdered sugar, water, vanilla bean extract and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined and smooth. The mixture should flow like lava but be thick enough to retain its shape.

Divide the icing between two bowls. Use a few drops of red food coloring to dye one of the icing portions a bright shade of red.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Tip

  • If the mixture is too thin, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar or if the mixture is too thick, add another tablespoon of water until the desired consistency is reached.

Decorate

Things You'll Need

  • 2 disposable piping bags
  • 2 small piping tips, e.g. Wilton Round Tip No. 3

Fit the piping bags with small decorative tips and add the icing into each. Snip off the bag tips.

To ice the cookies as traditional candy canes, begin to color block small portions of the cookies with the white icing. Then use the red icing to fill in the spaces to form candy cane stripes.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

You can also decorate the cookies however you desire; they look particularly gorgeous with spots and stripes. To do this, simply cover the cookie with the red icing and then use the white icing to pipe out your desired patterns.

Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the icing has set, about 4 hours.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Serve

Once the cookies have set, you can serve and enjoy them at home, or package them in a cute box and send to loved ones. They make for gorgeous and heart-felt Christmas gifts.

The cookies will keep in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. Store them in a cool dark place or the refrigerator.

(Image: Thalia Ho)
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