Cherry-Lemon Candy Cane Cookies

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Makes: 2 1/2 dozen
Hands-On Time: 18 min. Total Time: 3 hours, 4 min.
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped dried cherries
3 Tbsp. cherry juice
1/2 tsp. red liquid food coloring

Step 1

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg, lemon zest, and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually add flour, beating until blended. Stir in cherries. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill 2 hours.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 375°. Shape dough into 30 (5- x 1/2-inch) ropes. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets; bend over tops of ropes to look like candy canes.

Step 3

Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of cookies begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and cool completely (about 20 minutes).

Step 4

Whisk together cherry juice, food coloring, and remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar in a small
bowl until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

Step 5

This recipe is excerpted with permission from "Christmas with Southern Living 2013: The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Cooking & Decorating" by the Editors of Southern Living Magazine and published by Oxmoor House.

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