Candy Cane Cookies

Ingredients
Cookies:
1/2 c. shortening (I use Crisco)
1/2 c. butter
1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red food coloring

Peppermint Sprinkle Topping:
1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy or candy canes (about 20 mini candy canes or 8 regular-sized)
1/2 c. granulated sugar



Directions
For the Peppermint Sprinkle Topping: 
1.  Combine crushed candy canes and granulated sugar.  Set aside.

For the Cookies: 
2.  Mix shortening, butter, and confectioners' sugar until well combined.  Add egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract; combine well.  Mix in flour and salt.

3.  Divide dough into two equal portions.  Place one portion in a bowl.  Mix red food coloring into the remaining portion.

4.  Take about a 1" ball of each color of dough and roll each into a 4" strip.  Lay the strips side-by-side and then twist together.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and curve the top to make the strips look like a candy cane shape. 

5.  Repeat with remaining dough.

6.  Bake at 375 degrees for 6 - 9 minutes, until cookies are set and just barely beginning to get a bit of golden brown on the bottom.

7.  Place wax paper under a cooling rank.  Carefully remove hot cookies from the pan and place on the cooling rack.  Immediately, while cookies are still hot, sprinkle generously with Peppermint Sprinkle Topping.  Let cool on rack. 

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


NOTES:
- There truly is no leavener in this recipe ... that's not a typo.
- DO NOT chill the dough.  It's needs to be very soft and pliable to be able to roll and shape it into candy canes.
- It's important to sprinkle the Peppermint Sprinkle Topping on the cookies immediately upon taking them out of the oven so it will stick and sort of 'melt' onto the cookies.  If the cookies have cooled too much, it will just fall off.
- These can be made ahead and frozen.  A single layer works best ... or very gently place wax paper between layers.


Enjoy!


Source:  The Kitchen is My Playground
www.thekitchenismyplayground.com