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Candy Cane Cookie Query

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So tonight I made the dough for candy cane cookies (the ones that are comprised of a red and white dough twisted together to look like a candy cane before baking) from A Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies. However, when I went to form the cookies (rolling "ropes" of each color dough) the dough just seemed to fall apart when I attempted to twist the two strand together. Frustrated? You bet. I'm a competent baker/candy maker and this is confounding me. It's almost as if the dough isn't moist enough, but I don't think that's the problem. My questions: Any ideas to remedy the situation? Or, any ideas to use these two colored doughs in a different way, i.e., a different shaped cookie? (The red dough is flavored with peppermint extract and finely crushed candy canes; the pale dough just has vanilla for flavoring, so I think I should use them together). TIA.

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  1. I tried those a couple of years ago. Just gave up. Way beyond me.

    1. Maybe you could put them together in long squares and then cut them and bake to make those checkerboard cookies, or roll them together and cut out shapes like bells and stars. Sorry it's so frustrating - I hate that!

      1. Was your dough too warm, and did you try rolling it again a bit thicker?

        You could also put them side by side and do a spiral cookie shape.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hummingbird

          I was going to say the dough is not warm enough. As I remember it, the dough was anything but crumbly in texture. It's just a sugar cookie recipe isn't it?

          1. re: HolidayBaker

            On reflection, I think I did have this problem the first time I tried the recipe. (It's been decades.) After that, I have just used a sugar cookie recipe for years.

        2. You could do a pinwheel cookie (the one where you roll out both doughs, place one on top of the other, roll up into a tube and cut) with that. That would be pretty and easy.

          1. Thanks so much!! I'm going to try the candy cane shape once more, this time with colder dough. If that fails, I love the pinwheel idea -- exactly the type of solution I was looking for. Knew I could count on chowhounds to save the day.

            1. I've made those many times and almost made them this week. I never had this problem. Do you need to add more liquid to the dough? Sorry I don't have my recipe book to compare recipes.

              1. all my life, my family has made these cookies ... They're such a pain, but when you're expected to produce - you do find short-cuts.

                We've always used the recipe from the original Betty Crocker 'Cooky Cookbook' (which was re-issued recently). With their recipe, the only main difference between the red and white dough is food coloring. After shaping the cookies, crushed candy canes are sprinkled on top. Also, I've found that the cookies are a bit easier to roll out if you make your "worm" of red and white, and then gently roll the two of them together before twisting. It helps the final cookie stay together better during the twisting step, and actually makes them appear smoother and more candy cane-line.

                when in doubt - as my mom would say - don't give up!

                1 Reply
                1. re: lso202

                  By Jove....think you've got the answer here! Just looked at my vintage Cooky Book and the two colors are formed together to make a single smooth roll, then twisted! makes a whole lot of sense.