Christmas is coming! And already my kitchen has been pumping out all the Christmas-themed desserts. My family had an early Christmas get together last weekend and obviously I volunteered to make desserts. My house smells mostly of cinnamon, the tree is covered in baubles, my house is covered in lights and my dogs are covered in reindeer hats. (Spoiler alert: one of dog is happier about this than the other one!)
One might say its beginning it look a lot like Christmas.
One thing I am doing a lot this year is cookie baking. So this week is going to be dedicated solely to Christmas cookies! Starting off super simple first off, this is a way to transform any of your favourite sugar cookie doughs.
I had a lot of sugar cookie dough to use up, but this would be great with chocolate, gingerbread or any other kind of cookie dough you’re looking to make a little Christmassy with the least amount of effort possible.
While your cookies are baking you can take the time to prep the lollies for inside. These mini candy canes were individually wrapped so it was really convenient to crush them with a rolling pin as is.
Once your cookies have just started to colour, you can add the crush candy canes to the inside. You don’t need to rush here, but nor do you want your cookies to be cold when they go back in the oven. The heat of the tray will start to melt the candy canes as you work so it will give you and idea of how many gaps you need to fill.
Then return the cookies to the oven until the sugar has melted. You’ll want to watch for when it has just started to smooth out. If you leave it too long it will start to bubble up and make quite a mess over your cookie. You normally have a bit of leeway with this, but I wanted the stripes of the candy canes to show through so I made sure to get them out of there the moment that’d just started to melt.
Give them a good time to cool on the tray before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. You don’t want to disturb the sugar until its well set.
I’ve done stained glass cookies before and wanted to try something different, but I couldn’t resist just making a couple of green Christmas trees. I used a couple of lollipops I had. Any boiled sugar lolly will work.
I took these along to my family Christmas party mostly as an attempt to distract the kids from the boozy desserts the adults were getting. Kids always amaze me with the carefree approach they take to eating party sweets. A few of them spent an extraordinary amount of time licking the candy centres of the cookies trying to wear holes in them before finally eating them.
Here’s how to make your very own batch!
Candy Cane Cookies
An easy way to Christmas-ify your favourite cookie dough.
• 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
• 220g caster sugar
• 1tsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 320g plain flour
• 1tsp baking powder
• 1tsp salt
• candy canes or boiled lollies, crushed
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until well combined.
- Add vanilla and egg; beat until completely combined.
- Fold in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined
- Divide dough in half and pat into a disc shape. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2-3hrs.
- Preheat oven to 170°C(340°F).
- Roll dough out between two sheets of baking paper to roughly 5mm thick. Use cookie cutters to cut rounds of cookie dough and to cut shaped from the centre. Place on baking tray; bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven; pour crushed candy canes into the centre of the baked cookies. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the candy canes have just started to melt.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely