These candy cane cookies are a festive holiday treat.

Christmas wouldn’t be the same to me without cookies.

Ever since I can remember, my mom and I baked treats of all kinds — a mix of recipes from family and friends.

Filling the kitchen with the scents of vanilla, cinnamon and peppermint makes it feel like Christmas, even with the spring-like temperatures.

Two of my favorite cookie recipes are below.

I made a batch of both last week to mail to friends and family I won’t see over the holidays. It’s a reminder of my love for them and a way to share Christmas, united by the sweet taste of cookies.

Candy cane cookies


  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely crushed peppermint candy


  1. Cream shortening and butter in a large bowl until fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar, egg, almond and vanilla extracts, flour and salt, mixing well.
  3. Divide dough into two equal portions.
  4. Add red food coloring to one portion and mix well.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 teaspoon of each color dough into a long rope. Place ropes beside each other and carefully twist together, curving one end down to resemble a cane if desired (or leave twisted dough in a stick).
  6. Bake at 375°F for nine minutes or until edges start to brown. Immediately coat with sugar/peppermint mix.

Makes: 2 dozen cookies.

Gingerbread cookies


  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1½ sticks butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
  2. In another bowl, mix butter, sugar and egg until creamy.
  3. Stir both mixtures together in large bowl and add molasses and vanilla, mixing well. Let dough rest 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F, then roll dough out on floured surface until it’s ¼-inch thick. Cut into shapes (I make gingerbread men) and bake 7 to 10 minutes.

Makes: 2 dozen cookies.

News/Design Editor Clare Haefner enjoys cooking for family and friends. She can be reached at or (254) 501-7551.

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