Last weekend I watched the Toronto Santa Claus Parade (best one in years, by the way), and this week I’ve been cranking the Christmas tunes. So believe me, I am more than ready to kick things up a holiday notch around here! And I ask you, what better way to do that, than with candy canes?
When I’m planning out my Christmas cookie platter, only the “festive” variety make the cut. This means that they have to fall into at least one of three categories. They either have to look festive (for instance Christmas/winter themed sugar cookies), taste festive (think cranberry, gingerbread, etc…), or be traditional (such as shortbread or mincemeat). I think that these guys have it covered.
These start off with a chocolate shortbread cookie, which are then topped with a minty chocolate glaze. And just to add a little holiday magic, they’re finished off with a sprinkling of crushed candy canes! If these cookies don’t have Santa Ho!Ho!Ho!ing all the way back to his sleigh, I don’t know what will 🙂
Candy Cane Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
*lightly adapted from Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities by Nigella Lawson
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
9 tbsp Vegan Butter (I use Earth Balance)
9 tbsp Shortening
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract
1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 cup Icing Sugar
1/4 cup Hot Water
3/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract
16 Small Candy Canes, crushed
Preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
Cream the vegan butter and shortening together until combined and smooth. Add sugar, vanilla, and peppermint extract and beat until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder (sift it if necessary), and beat until well combined. Beat in the flour mixture.
Using a tablespoon to measure (I measured slightly generous tablespoons), scoop dough and roll into a ball. place on lined cookie sheet and gently flatten into a 1/4″ thick disc. Repeat with remaining dough, keeping cookies about 2″ apart.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely before glazing.
While cookies are cooling, make the glaze. Combine cocoa powder, icing sugar, hot water, vanilla, and peppermint extract in a bowl. Whisk together until smooth. If glaze is still warm, allow to cool to room temperature.
Working in small batches (so the glaze doesn’t have a chance to set), spoon the glaze onto cookie (I think I used about 1/2 teaspoon of glaze per cookie but it might have been more), spreading it over the top, and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Allow the glaze a couple of hours to set, before storing them.
Store cookies layered with wax paper and in a tightly sealed container.
Makes approximately 40 – 42 cookies.
Note: The recipe made about twice the amount of glaze that I needed. Depending on how generously you plan to glaze your cookies, you may want to reduce the recipe, or you can save the extra for something else. Up to you 🙂