I especially look forward to the tradition of making (and eating) the candy cane cookies each year. Using the recipe from her junior high home ec. class (!), Aunt Jo prepares the dough the night before, and my mom and I roll them into shape.
|To form candy canes: take a small amount of each color and use your hands to roll each out into two long, fairly-thin logs. Join the logs together and twist. Lightly roll the twisted dough with hands to smooth out; form cane shape.|
|Cousin Jake hung out in the kitchen while we baked--with his reindeer antlers on. :-)|
For the butter cookies, I make the dough, and using an electric cookie press we squish them into festive shapes like Christmas trees and snowflakes, and then decorate with sprinkles. They are super simple and just melt in your mouth. In a well-timed operation, Christmas music plays over the hum of the cookie press as one tray gets decorated, another goes into the oven, and another comes out.
Once everything is cooled, Tupperwares and Tupperwares of cookies are placed onto the kitchen table. In addition to the candy canes and butter cookies, there’s traditional chocolate chip, chocolate with peanut butter chip, Snicker bar and Hershey Kiss-filled, sesame, amaretto, and more! It’s hard to pick a favorite because every one is so good. All are then put into tins and wrapped up for friends and family.
Other than, of course, the cookies themselves, the best part of our Christmas cookie bake is honestly just being together and getting into the spirit of the season; throughout the years, many memories have been created over the butter cookies and candy canes.
Below is the recipe for the candy cane cookies, so that you can enjoy them too!
- 1 cup butter/ 2 sticks
- 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp red food coloring