This recipe was originally published in 2015.
This recipe uses crushed candy canes for an infusion of genuine candy-cane flavor. To crush candy canes, use a food processor or a coffee grinder. Alternatively, place candy canes in a large zip-top freezer bag and seal; lay it flat on a counter and repeatedly roll a rolling pin over the candy canes until they’re evenly crushed into fine pieces. Measure out ½ cup of crushed candy for this recipe. Sprinkle any remainder over cookies after they’re baked, if desired. These gluten-free cookies can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.
For Egg-Free Candy Cane Cookies, omit 1 egg. Combine 2 teaspoons flax meal with 2 tablespoons hot water to make a gel. Let cool. Use this mixture to replace the egg in step 1. Add 1½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer to dry ingredients in step 2; mix well. If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time. If too wet, add more flour blend, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough hangs together.
How to Form Candy Cane Cookies
If dough is sticky, dust your work surface and hands with gluten-free flour. With your hands, roll the red and the white dough into thin logs. Cut each into equal lengths, about 5 inches long.
Pinch together the ends of one red and one white log and begin to braid by folding white dough over red.
Continue braiding the dough logs, folding one over the other until you reach the end. Place cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bend each into a “J” shape.
Jules Shepard is the author of Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy (Da Capo Press ©2010).Yields 36 cookies
- 1 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks, softened
- ½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
- ½ cup finely crushed gluten-free candy canes or peppermints
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2½ cups Jules’ Homemade All-Purpose Flour Blend
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Red food coloring
- ½ cup crushed gluten-free candy canes, optional
1Place butter, confectioners’ sugar and crushed candy into a large mixing bowl and cream until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
2Slowly stir in the flour blend and salt, mixing until completely combined.
3Divide dough into equal halves. Place one half into a separate bowl. Add red food coloring to remaining half in the mixing bowl, mixing color into dough until it’s deep red.
4Wrap each half of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until cold and no longer as sticky.
5Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Dust a clean countertop or pastry mat with a small amount of flour blend.
6Pinch off equal pieces of red and white dough and roll them into thin logs of equal length. (Logs should be about 5 inches long and no more than ¼-inch in diameter. The exact length isn’t important, only that they’re about the same size.) Create pairs of joined red and white logs by pinching their ends together. Then gently “braid” each red and white pair by placing one log over the other, repeating until the 2 logs are twisted around each other up their entire length. Pinch ends to seal. Using a spatula, gently place each twisted pair onto prepared baking sheets. Curl the top of each cookie down to form a candy-cane shape.
7Place cookies in preheated oven and bake 9 to 10 minutes. Do not let cookies brown.
8Remove from oven and sprinkle hot cookies with crushed candy, if desired. Remove to fully cool on a wire rack before serving.