A triumph! Finally, I’m so satisfied with myself for dealing with my candy-cane-cookie anxieties! You know how it is: every year you see recipes for these ridiculously sweet cookies, colored so artificially. And I avoided them, turned the page, yuck. But this recipe for “Candy Cane Cookies” convinced me to try. Notice how these cookies are butter and sugar and egg and flour, after all. Rather than coat my cookies in crushed peppermint candies, I replaced the almond extract with peppermint extract. Eureka! I got my hint of mint, without covering my cookies with candy. But how did I get my two colors, you ask? Well…I created my plain cookie dough in my stand mixer, then separated it into two big fistfuls. To one, I added a jar of red-colored sugar. I squeezed and folded and massaged that lump of dough until it turned red. I did the same with green-colored sugar with the other lump of dough. After that, I rolled and flattened my two different doughs between layers of parchment paper, keeping them separate. I then rolled a small red strip of dough and a small green strip, twisted them together, shaped them and placed them on the parchment-lined baking pan. Quite simple, really. These cookies baked in 11 minutes or so, and were a bit delicate and delicious. Kid-friendly, for sure.

And now, for another two sticks of butter! My youngster is a fan of lemon-pucker desserts, so I made more cookie balls: the “Lemon Snow Drops.” Lots of lemon zest, some juice, and confectioners’ sugar. Straightforward and right-on.

 

 

 

 

 

Again: two sticks of butter! See how beautiful the “Chocolate-Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies” are. I don’t make sandwich cookies, because I’m too lazy…until now, that is. This recipe made more than 18 cookies, for me. You end up with a serious mouthful, here. Very chocolaty. Nuts. Powerful stuff. And they’re so pretty to look at.

 

Lastly, to celebrate white chocolate and to appease the fans thereof, I assembled the “White Chocolate Snowflakes.” An easy, no-bake winner, here. Three ingredients. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for less than one minute (no need for a double boiler!). Mix in Rice Krispies and peanuts. Refrigerate until hardened. Yumminess. So let’s move on from this cookie environment. Let it empower us and lead us to good things in 2013. Happy eating.