2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

red food coloring

Cream first two ingredients in mixer bowl at medium speed, then add the egg and extracts, and finally the flour and salt, until well combined. Color half the dough with red food coloring to desired redness. Divide each dough half into 9 equal pieces. Roll into cylinders, then twist around each other and shape into canes. Transfer to greased baking sheets, about 3 canes per sheet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes before baking for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Let cool 5 minutes on the sheets then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Recipe from

It was a good enough recipe, and made beautiful, enormous candy cane cookies. My biggest concern here is the liberal use of food coloring. I didn’t use the full recommended amount and my cookies still turned out pink and cream instead of red and cream. I won’t be making this again the way the recipe is written just because I know other people have concerns about food coloring (cancer-causing agents, etc.), and I wouldn’t want to feed this to my family either. There are alternatives though — maybe next year I’ll try adding some cranberry concentrate to the batter and see how that affects the color. Or try food coloring from Nature’s Flavors.