Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Virtual Cookie Swap! Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies

This year the beautiful Rachel from theavidappetite.com had a fabulous idea, a virtual cookie swap for Christmas! How fun!

She organized a bunch of us bloggers (that girl has mad organizational skills!) to share our favourite cookie that we were going to bake up for the holidays so that everyone can get a fabulous start for the Christmas season.  I am so excited for all of the amazing recipes that everyone has shared!

If you want to see what other delectable cookies have been contributed, you can check out her round-up here, and I strongly recommend that you do. Except that it will give you the urge to rush into your kitchen and fire up that oven.  Consider yourself warned.

I decided to do a twist on the traditional shortbread cookie. I absolutely love the buttery taste and texture of shortbread cookies, and how you can always depend on them showing up on the dessert table at Christmas every year.  I thought it would be cute to incorporate some crushed candy canes for a pop of both colour and a yummy peppermint flavour.

These were so easy to make! And so festive looking as well.  I’m super happy with how they turned out.

I used the traditional shortbread cookie recipe that my family has always made, and mixed 2 crushed candy canes into the dough. I then baked them up as usual and out came cute candy cane shortbread cookies! These don’t even need sprinkles (and that is saying a lot, I love sprinkles!).

When it comes to crushing the candy canes, if you have a food processor please use it. I figured “hey, I’m only going to need, like, 2 candy canes. Totally not worth having to wash my entire food processor!”. I was wrong, just use the darn food processor. I made such a mess cutting these candy canes up with a knife I think the cleanup was even longer! Eh, you live, you learn. These cookies were worth every minute of the cleanup!

I made just over two dozen cookies with this recipe. And then I ate half a dozen before I could control myself. So maybe double this recipe, just in case.

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 2 candy canes, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the corn starch, icing sugar, and flour
  3. Blend in the butter until a soft dough forms
  4. Add the chopped/crushed candy canes and mix until distributed throughout the dough
  5. Roll into 1" round balls and place on the cookies sheets
  6. Flatten each ball with your hand or a lightly floured fork
  7. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the edges are a light golden brown
  8. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cookie rack
  9. Enjoy!


  1. This looks so festive and looks like it has a great buttery texture! Mmmmm....

  2. definitely trying these!!!! i LOVE candycanes

  3. These look crazy delicious! I'm adding them to my to-bake list right now :)

  4. Hailey these are so beautiful! I adore the candy cane flecks in them :) Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  5. saw these on Rachel’s post..I am SUCH a white choc fan and fan of white cookies like this. LOVE the looks of these!

  6. Is icing sugar powdered sugar? These look delicious!

  7. Hi Nicole! Yup, icing sugar is the same as powdered sugar :) I hope you enjoy them!

    Thank you everyone! There are so many delicious cookies in the swap, I don't even know where to begin! Yum :)

  8. These look sooooo doughy and yum. I don't even want to talk about the amount of candy cane bits I've gone through in the past 5 days.. the most wonderful time of the year :)

  9. Trying to eat healthy does not work when you post recipes like this! It also does not help that I am trying to use up everything in my pantry and I have all the ingredients. Time to bake! I hope mine turn out as good as yours.

  10. Is there an ingriedient missing? I am making them now and the dough is so dry. I cannot even forma them into a ball? Please help.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. These look delicious. We are definitely trying them.

  12. @anonymous
    I tried to reply earlier but I seem to be having issues with blogger! So hopefully this works
    The dough is a very dry dough, I would suggest using your hands to knead the dough and help it come together. I made these again this year and it worked so I hope it works out for you!
    Merry Christmas!

  13. Replies
    1. Hi KrisH!
      The shortbread dough freezes really well. I haven't tried it with the candy cane buys but I don't see why it wouldn't work :) Merry Christmas!

  14. I made these today and while they look yummy they were not sadly :/ they really didn't have much of a flavor. Would adding mini chocolate chips work well with this cookie recipe?

    1. That's too bad! Maybe it had to do with the candy canes? That is where most of the flavour comes from. Mini chocolate chips would definitely work! I hope they turn out better, we love these cookies :) Merry Christmas!

    2. I wonder if it has something to do with whether or not someone uses artificially flavored candy canes versus the real ones with the peppermint in them? I found that I had issues with another candy cane recipe simply due to the fact that the candy canes were artificially flavored versus real peppermint. Just a thought.

  15. Also, there is another recipe similar to this one that calls for peppermint extract to be added... maybe that would help as well as some vanilla.

  16. I made these today and they're delicious! My candy canes were flavoured so they added nicely to the biscuit. I used the food processor so mine were very finely crushed but still worked well and added a bit of chewiness too. A great way to use up those candy canes! Thank you.

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