This is the recipe I'll make this year, I believe it is based on a cookie recipe from the December 1995 issue of Southern Living (The Twelve Doughs of Christmas). However, I'm not 100% sure on that. If you don't want to go through the trouble of making Candy Canes, eliminate the red food coloring and the egg in the topping and just mix the crushed peppermint candy from the topping into the cookies, roll the dough in small balls and press with glass dipped in the sugar from the topping to make circles and bake. I've made them this way for many year and they are my favorite easy Christmas cookie. For the cookie swap, I'll actually take the time to make them into Candy Canes though.
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening, softened
1 c. confectioners sugar
2 1/2 c. unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. red food coloring
3/4 t. peppermint extract
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. finely crushed peppermint candy
1 egg white
In large bowl with electric mixer ( medium speed,) cream butter, shortening, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy. Add extracts. In medium bowl, combine flour and salt, gradually add to creamed mixture and continue beating just until combined.
Divide dough in half; add food coloring to one half, mixing well. Wrap each half in waxed paper and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Pull off about 1 teaspoon of each dough ( white and pink). On lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 5 inch long rope. Place ropes side by side and carefully twist together.
Place on greased cookie sheet and shape to form a candy cane. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes, or until golden at edges. Remove from oven and place on wax paper. Brush lightly with egg whites and sprinkle candy topping over cookies. Let cool and place in air tight container.
Serves : 36