Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Check out this yummy recipe I made for Sarah's cookie swap (check out her blog here). I found this one on Pinterest, and had to try it! Here's a picture of what it looked like on Pinterest, and what my version of it looked like. OK, mine aren't quite as pretty, but they tasted great! The recipe made 3 dozen cookies, but I needed 4 dozen for the cookie swap, and couldn't use half an egg yolk, so I had to make a double recipe. Luckily they were yummy (Jordan wasn't complaining!)

-2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-¼ teaspoon salt
-1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
-¾ cup powdered sugar
-1 large egg yolk
-2 large egg whites
-½ cup finely crushed hard peppermint candies or candy canes (about 3-ounces)
-Additional powdered sugar for rolling

Makes: 3 dozen

Sift together dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and beat until blended. Add egg whites and mix well (mixture will look grainy). Gradually beat dry ingredients into butter mixture. Stir in peppermint candies. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie with a fork, creating crisscross pattern. Bake until cookies are golden on bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

A note about crushing candy canes: 
At first I was trying to crush the candy canes in a measuring cup with a big spoon, then with the bottom of a cup, which worked OK, but then I remembered another method that I picked up somewhere along the way. Put the candy canes in a large ziploc bag and use a rolling pin and slowly roll over the candy canes. I'll admit that rolling was taking too long, so I took it out to the front step and just hit it a bunch of times with my rolling pin, which worked really well! I also used this trick on crushing peanuts because I was too cheap to buy the pre-crushed ones (I actually rolled those ones though). 

Side rant: Parchment paper
Go out and buy some parchment paper. Seriously. It only costs a few dollars, but it makes it so much easier to bake things. You line your pan with it, and then when it's time to take it off you just peel off the paper, you don't have to scrape it off or worry about your treats sticking to the sides or falling apart. I used the same two pieces on my cookie sheets, and it worked great! I am converted! Note that wax paper is not an appropriate alternative, my friend Sarah told me she learned that one the hard way!

Enjoy! :)

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