Monday, 4 January 2010
Candy Cane Cookies
Maybe I've been wandering around blindfold in the past but it's only the last two Christmases that I've noticed candy canes in the shops. This year, I went a bit crazy and bought loads, festooned a dozen or so on the tree and used the rest to decorate wrapped presents.
While they have a nostalgic aesthetic charm to them they're actually not that great to eat. Place one in the hands of a small child at your peril, within 5 short minutes every surface in the house will be smeared in a sticky, fluff catching layer of sugar and probably best not to think too seriously about what's happening to their teeth.
This afternoon we made Candy Cane Cookies which were a very efficient way to make the darn things actually more edible and use up the remaining tree canes. This is an American recipe but I've anglicised the weights and measures.
Candy Cane Cookies.
1/4 tsp each peppermint essence and vanilla extract
280g plain flour
Approx 200g finely crushed candy canes
3 tbsp sugar.
Cream the butter and sugar together, add the egg and flavourings, mix well. Add the flour and mix to a sticky dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for an hour (the dough, not you - you've got candy canes to crush)
Mix the crushed candy canes and sugar together. Take walnut sized pieces of dough and roll the cane/sugar mix then flatten onto a baking tray. Bake at GM 5 for about 12 minutes.
Now, these are cookies, not biscuits and this is the first time I've made American style cookies so it was something of a learning experience. They spread like swine flu so don't overcrowd the baking tray. I lined my tray with baking parchment but the pesky blighters still stuck to it so maybe oiling the baking parchment would be a good idea. They're very soft when they first come out of the oven but they harden and crisp up fairly rapidly as they cool, in fact, don't hang around too long or they get even harder to chip off the baking tray.
They are utterly delicious, buttery, chewy, crispy - I seem to have repressed some vague memory about January and, ummm, what was it? H - h - healthy? Healthy eating? Surely not .....