Holiday Almanac December 23: Candy Cane Cookies

For more information on the Holiday Almanac, go hereOr to see what I've been up to on past Holiday Almanac days, check out this page.

As previously stated, I can't find candy canes anywhere in Scotland. Being only a mediocre candy cane fan myself, I'm actually sadder about the lack of Williams-Sonoma Candy Cane Bark than I am about the lack of actual candy canes, but when making as many Christmas-themed goodies as I have this month, it would be nice to have actual candy canes to work with.

In their absence, now I have these cookies, which look a little too much like Play-doh for my tastes. They're tasty enough (though the massive amount of handling required to dye, roll, twist, and shape these definitely make them a little tougher than I'd like them to be.

However, they are adorable, and if you have a kid you're excited to be baking with this Christmas, might I recommend them? I would have loved these as a kid, and I bet I'm not the only one.

The verdict:

2 spoons out of five. These taste fine, but they're just not worth all of the work that goes into them-- especially not two days before Christmas-- unless you've got a niece or a nephew or a godchild who loves to bake and wants to play in the kitchen with you.

the recipe:

Candy Cane Cookies

the directions:

Preheat oven to 190C/375F.
Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and flavourings.
Add flour and salt and stir well to combine.
Divide dough in half and add food colouring to half of dough.
Roll 1 tsp red dough and 1 tsp plain dough separately into a round noodle.
Lay noodles on top of each other and gently roll together.
Twist noodle gently like a candy cane, then shape into candy cane shape and place on ungreased cookie sheet. 
Repeat until dough is gone.
Bake 7-9 minutes until just done but not yet brown.

Makes about 4 dozen.

the ingredients:

1 c shortening
1 c powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp almond flavouring or Disaronno
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
Red food colouring