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Candy Cane Cookies
Nancy McElwee and Jaki Soper make candy cane cookies and double cruncher cookies.TODAY, December 16th 2016.
Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY
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Nancy McElwee, one of the 2016 TODAY holiday cookie contest winners, started her own tradition with these sweet candy cane cookies. She spotted the recipe in a Betty Crocker recipe book about 30 years ago and over the decades she’s altered it to her own tastes. Now her family enjoy them each holiday season.


    • 1 cup shortening (I use half Crisco and half butter)
    • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1½ teaspoon almond extract
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Red food coloring gel (judge the amount that you want)
    • Sifted powdered sugar to dip them in


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and flavorings thoroughly. Mix flour and salt; stir into shortening mixture. Divide dough in half. Blend food coloring gel into one half.

2. Roll a 4-inch strip (using 1 teaspoon dough) from each color. Place strips side by side, press strips lightly together and twist like a rope. For best results, complete cookies one at a time. If all the dough of one color is shaped first, strips become too dry to twist. Place on un-greased baking sheet. Curve top to from handle of cane. 

3. Bake about 9 minutes. While still warm dip or sprinkle in powdered sugar. Dry on wire rack.

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