Family traditions are one of the things I look forward to the most during the holiday season. Our family has a December tradition of traveling “Up North” for a getaway weekend to escape the bustle of the holidays. We all pack into the car and drive up to the Gunflint Lodge where our cell phones don’t get service, and you can get a spotty wireless connection at the lodge—if you’re lucky. It’s a great opportunity to unplug and simply enjoy time with family. We make wreaths, decorate the lodge, go on nature hikes, drink hot chocolate, eat more food than we know we should, and enjoy time quality time with each other.
While we were tucked away in the north woods, my dad and I made some candy cane sugar cookies. I’d gotten the recipe from a co-worker and was excited to try it out. Given the fact that I was working with limited baking supplies, I tried to cut a few corners and purchased store bought cookie dough. My vision was that the cookies would have some more shape to them, but alas that was not the case. You’ll see the recipe calls for some additional flour that should allow your cookies to hold their shape a little better. Regardless, enjoy this unique twist on a traditional sugar cookie for the eighth day of Christmas.
1 (18 ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
3 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon peppermint extract
Red and green gel food coloring
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cookie dough, flour and extract until smooth. Divide the dough into three equal portions. Mix green food coloring into one section and red food coloring into the second section. Leave the remaining section plain. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Shape 1 tablespoon of each color dough into 6 inch ropes. Place the ropes side by side, press together, and lightly twist. Feel free to be creative with your color combinations—green and red, red and white, green and white, or even try all three!
Place rope of dough on an ungreased baking sheet and curve into a candy cane shape. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before carefully removing to wire racks.
Heather’s Helpful Hints
You’ll see that I’ve called for 3 tablespoons of additional flour in this recipe. This is because when I originally made the recipe, the cookies didn’t hold their shape like I was hoping. If you ever find that your cookies spread too much and lose their shape in the oven, try adding more flour to the dough at 1 tablespoon increments, until cookies retain their shape when baking.