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Category: Desserts

Almond candy cane cookies

Almond candy cane cookies
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Many hands help make holiday cookies. That's true when you're gathered with family and friends and vats of colored icing. It's true when you're running a contest for cookie recipes, when it takes thousands of readers, dozens of cooking school ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus chilling time for the dough | Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Note: Adapted from a recipe by Kristen Johnson.

Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Scant 9 cups (38 ounces) flour
  • Red food coloring

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, then add the almond and vanilla extracts. Add the salt, then slowly add the flour, a little at a time, until completely incorporated to form the dough.

Step 2Divide the dough in half. Cover and refrigerate half. To the other half, add enough food coloring to turn the dough a rich pink. Cover the other half; and refrigerate both pieces of dough about 30 minutes.

Step 3Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 4Form the cookies: Take a heaping tablespoon each of the pink and white dough. Roll each piece into a strip, then take the two strips and place them side by side so they are touching each other. Roll them together so you have one uniform piece, red on one side and white on the other, then twist to swirl. Twist the dough to form the shape of a candy cane. Continue forming the cookies with all of the dough.

Step 5Bake the cookies on a cookie sheet until set, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the hot cookies from the sheet carefully, as the "hook" of the cane can break easily; allowing them to sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or so after baking makes the removal a bit easier. Glaze while hot.

Glaze and assembly

  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/4 cup milk, more as needed
  • Cookies

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the softened butter with the powdered sugar. Beat in the almond extract, then slowly add the milk. Add enough milk to create a glaze-like consistency (not as thick as frosting, but thick enough to coat the cookie). Glaze the cookies generously while hot. Feel free to add a second coating of glaze if you'd like!

Step 2The cookies are good warm, but they are actually at their best the second day, or after they have had time to really cool and properly set.

Each of 4 dozen cookies:
264 calories; 3 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 14 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 15 grams sugar; 128 mg sodium.
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