Christmas cookie #2...I'm so excited! These may not be the easiest cookies to make, but they sure are fun! (Just for the record they weren't easy to photograph either!) Emily and I made them together and we had a great time. She even came up with the very clever idea of making straight candy cane sticks instead of canes so she wouldn't have to deal with the frustration of the cookie dough breaking when we tried to bend it. As for me, when mine broke I just smooshed them back together. Our candy cane cookies are gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, and nut free. The original recipe called for the sprinkling of crushed candy canes, but we decided to leave it off this time around because if you were to make a plate with a variety of cookies including these and wrap it all up together they would all taste like mint in the end. We also thought crushed cherry candy canes would be nice...but I didn't have any. These are similar to my sugar cookie recipe but definitely crunchier. They have a lovely buttery flavor, but without the butter... YAY!
1 c Spectrum Palm shortening 1 c Granulated sugar 2 Eggs worth of egg replacer 1 t Vanilla extract 1 1/2 c White rice flour 1/2 c Sweet rice flour 1/2 c Potato starch 1/2 c Tapioca starch
2 t Xanthan gum 1 t Salt 2 t Baking powder
½ t Red food color-If you can’t have red dye, dark red berry juice such as pomegranate, raspberry, or cherry works well. ½ c Crushed peppermint candy (optional) ½ c Granulated sugar (optional)
Cream together shortening and 1 cup of sugar. Add egg replacer and vanilla and mix well. In another bowl sift or whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and blend thoroughly (about 1 minute on low speed). Separate dough into 2 halves. Add enough food coloring to one half of the dough (it may take more or less than ½ t depending on what kind you use) to get a nice red color, and mix until color is uniform. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Take dough out of refrigerator and warm at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Take about 1 tablespoon of dough from one color and roll it into a strip about the size of a pencil (maybe a little thicker). Do the same with the other color. Place strips side by side, press lightly together, then twist like a rope. If dough sticks sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar, if it cracks or breaks just press it back together. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then bend the tops to look like candy canes (or leave straight like Emily).
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, take them out before they start to brown or they will be VERY crunchy. While baking, mix crushes candy canes and the ½ c of sugar if you are going to be using them. Sprinkle this mixture over the cookies as soon as you remove them from the oven. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!