|One of the few that was actually ‘Photo-Worthy’|
You know, I make no secret of the fact that I am not a good baker. I am not crafty, I am not a scrapbooker, I am not a good decorator. These things I am not. I am OK with this. I do not feel like I am missing out by not making dozens of Martha-like cookies every holiday season that are perfectly iced and decorated.
If you are one of those people who can make a cookie recipe from start to finish without a catastrophe and they come out of the oven perfect then I raise my glass to you. I will probably try to buy them from you even. But I am not ever going to reach that level of expertise. And I am fine with that. I try and that counts, right?
Now , my kids saw this cookie recipe in a Family Fun cookbook a few years ago and I have saved it all this time. I thought I would surprise them and make them Monday night. I also wanted to use them for an upcoming column in the Greenwood Daily Journal so I had a dual purpose here.
I got out all of my ingredients, lined my pans with parchment and pre-heated the oven. Things started to unravel when my kids wouldn’t stay in bed. One needed a drink, one had to get a blanket. Tell me a story they said. Kiss me goodnight again they begged….this went on for a while and before I knew it it was 9 PM and I hadn’t even started yet.
I got going, finally, and the dough looked great! I wrapped the dough just right to form 32 of the best cookie candy canes I had ever seen! I was impressed! I watched my time like a hawk because I was invested in these suckers. They WERE going to turn out!
Then in the last few minutes my youngest called to me,crying, from his room. Next thing you know it dawns on me that the timer is going off and the cookies were quickly becoming a nice shade of tan. Not beautiful, tasty or at the least: photo worthy. I was devastated, disappointed but not surprised. Remember, I am not a baker.
Not to be outwitted by flour, butter and sugar I set about to making them again Tuesday night. I warned everyone not to disturb me and I started them at 5 PM. Again, it all went well and again my dough looked fabulous. I took them out right in time and I immediately noticed that my perfect dough had puffed up. My candy canes had swelled to epic proportions. These delicate little canes were now looking more like gnarly tree trunks. Why? What did I do wrong?
I looked online and immediately found my answer: I had creamed the butter too long and in doing that the butter go too warm. Hence the puffy canes! I realized that this has happened to me before so it looks like I am a habitual offender ???? BUT, they were good, my kids were proud of me and my friends at work loved them. That’s all I needed really.
Candy Cane Twists
3/4 C unsalted butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 LG egg
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
red food coloring
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat well. Stir in the peppermint and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour until combined.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and work the red food coloring into 1/2 until you reach the desired redness. To shape the canes roll a small amount into a ball and then roll with your hands to a cylinder. Do the same for a piece of red. Twist the 2 pcs. together and pinch the ends to form a candy cane shape. Continue to do this with the rest of the dough. Place on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set but not brown.
|Our cookie tray last night in our Family Cookie Baking Night|