I like to have at least 4 kinds of cookies on hand for gift giving, and hosting. The Swirl cookies have become part of my repertoire, and I have made them every Christmas for almost a decade. Ricardo's Sucre a la creme recipe is the best I know of. Biscotti is a good addition for those who want a little something sweet, but not a full on sugar/fat buzz. The candy cane short bread is a recipe I developed recently. In the above photo I mixed the crushed candy cane into the dough, and flattened the cookies with a glass.
- Sucre a la creme (The best!)
- Maple Pecan Biscotti (I added maple extract to the dough, and skipped the icing sugar deco.)
- Anise scented Fig and Date Swirls (Worth the trouble! Dough freezes well once assembled allowing for last minute cookie making.)
- Candy Cane Shortbread (Recipe below)
Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies
as seen in Mainstreet
Makes 45-50 Cookies
· 500 ml (2 cups) all purpose flour
· 250 ml (1 cup) icing sugar
· 250 ml (1 cup) corn starch
· 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) sea salt
· 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
· 5 ml (1 teaspoon) peppermint extract
· Sufficient quantity cane canes (red/green/white candy canes look best)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 4 ingredients. Stir in the butter, and peppermint extract until a well blended dough is formed. Shape into 2.5 cm (1 inch) balls. If dough is too soft to handle, cover and chill for 1 hour.
Now here is the fun part: Either throw the candy canes into a food processor or break up the candy canes up by hand using a knife or a mortar and pestle. You can even turn the canes into a fine powder if you have the patience to do it by hand or throw them in a coffee grinder that is dedicated to spice grinding. I would test a few cookie dough balls by bringing together the cookies and crushed cane in different ways to see which you prefer. You can try making a indent in a ball and filling it with crushed candy cane, or rolling a ball in crushed candy cane and flattening it with a fork on a cookie sheet. Alternately if you have made a fine power you can bake them, and then dust the baked cookies (once cool enough to handle), as you would with icing sugar.