We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Cookie Recipe #357 - Peppermint Candy Canes

This is the last of the Christmas Cookie Recipes. Hope you have tried one or two of them with your family. Try this one between Christmas and New Year's for a minty treat!

Ingredients: 1/3 cup butter, softened, 1/3 cup shortening, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, dash of salt, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional), 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy canes. Icing: 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons milk, or more.

Instructions: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening. Add the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined. Mix in egg, milk, vanilla, crushed peppermint candy canes, and peppermint extract, if using. Lastly, add flour, mixing until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. On lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 12-inch-long rope. Cut each rope into 4 equal pieces and place each piece on an ungreased baking sheet curving one end to form a candy cane.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 7-8 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Make icing: In small bowl, beat powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Continue adding more milk until mixture is smooth and of drizzling consistency. Drizzle generously over each candy cane.

Makes 4 dozen candy canes.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003. (with a few of my own additions or subtractions)

Cookies Rule!!!

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