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Candy Cane Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Posted by Claire | Tuesday November 30, 20102 comments
...in which Claire learns that The End Justifies The Means

A friend tipped me off to the delicious cookie recipes on the Gay Lea website, and I immediately wanted to try the Candy Cane Shortbread with my kids.

Now, Baking With Children is fun and brings back warm memories of my own childhood... but it is easier to get fuddled up and bomb the recipe as I was about to learn.  Here is how it started:

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp peppermint extract (opt)
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup rice flour or cornstarch
2-3 candy canes, crushed/chopped

Beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy.  Add peppermint extract, then with a wooden spoon carefully add flour and rice flour/cornstarch.  Fold in without overmixing: the dough will be quite crumbly and drier than other cookie recipes.

*Note to self: always double check the quantities, because adding a forgotten 1/2 cup of butter after the fact gets tricky

Lay out a sheet of parchment or wax paper and place broken pieces of candy cane inside, folding into a packet.  Crush with a heavy rolling pin or kitchen mallet until candy pieces are the desired size.

*Don't try to chop the candy using an open cutting board - Trust

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut into shapes as desired, rerolling scraps once.

*Cool Christmassy shapes are not best suited to this recipe as it's too crumbly to safely transfer to the baking sheet.  Instead, I used a simple round cutter.

Sprinkle candy cane pieces over the prepared shapes, then set aside to chill for about 20 minutes.  If you live the subarctic (read here: Canada), set them outside on your patio to air chill instead of trying to figure out how on earth to fit a baking sheet into your refrigerator.

Bake at 350F (180C) for 12-15 minutes until the candy has melted.  Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Despite all the mini catastrophes that happened during the process, this recipe yielded a lovely, mild pepperminty shortbread that was delicious. However, my family was not quite sold on the solidified candy topping, and so here's how I'll make it next time (probably solo):

* increase the Peppermint Extract by double
* add extra zip to the recipe with a dash of nutmeg
* add a splash of orange juice for flavouring and to make the recipe just a little stickier (but don't overdo it or the texture is ruined)
* mix the finely crushed candy canes into a basic icing to spread on the finished cookies instead of baking together; decorate final product with larger candy cane pieces for presentation

What is your favourite Holiday cookie recipe?
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on December 01, 2010  cathy3087  98 said:

I looooove shortbread!

on November 30, 2010  Hafsa  80 said:

Yum! I'll definitely be trying this one out!

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