Friday, December 26, 2008

favorite cookies

i am powered through the holiday season with a constant sugar-high. i eat cookies for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the occasional snack. my top 5 favorites are candy cane cookies, russian teacakes, snickerdoodles, orange and white chocolate chip, and gingerbread. oh, i also love french lace and meringue (called styrofoam cookies at our house). and thumbprints. and the hershey kiss ones. ok, i guess i can't limit it to five. while i (obviously) love most cookies, one absolute standout is the candy cane cookies from betty crocker's 1963 cooky book.

candy cane cookies

1 cup shortening (use 1/2 butter and 1/2 crisco)
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp red food coloring
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy (i don't do this step. i hate mint flavored anything)
1/2 cup granulated sugar

heat oven to 375. mix shortening, sugar, egg and flavorings thoroughly. mix flour and salt; stir into shortening mixture. divide dough in half. blend food coloring into one half.
roll a 4" strip from each color. place strips side by side, press lightly together and twist like a rope. place on ungreased baking sheet. curve the top down to form handle of cane.
(as you may well imagine based on the amount of shortening in the dough, this is a fairly greasy enterprise. i was home by myself and therefore have no photos of the actual cane-forming. i included this helpful illustration from the cooky book for reference.)

bake about 9 minutes until lightly browned. while still warm, remove from baking sheet with spatula and sprinkle with sugar (and peppermint candy, if desired).
eat them all and don't share any, even when your sister calls from colorado and asks you to send her some. she can make her own damn cookies.

what are your favorite holiday cookies?

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