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It's peppermint season

Posted: December 7, 2010 10:13 p.m.
Updated: December 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Candy canes, peppermint ribbons and evergreen treats offer a minty mix of holiday cookies, while Santa Claus and Frosty Friends Candy Cane Molds can dress up holiday treats.

 

Headline your holiday with the quintessential flavor of the season — peppermint. These extra special sweets offer a bountiful buffet of peppermint possibilities. Choose one or more for cookie exchanges, après caroling nibbles, gifts for teachers and Santa.

Visit www.wilton.com for additional holiday ideas and to order baking and decorating supplies.

Peppermint-ribbon cookies
Makes about 6 dozen cookies
    3     cups all-purpose flour
    1     teaspoon salt
    1/2     teaspoon baking powder
    1     cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    1 1/3     cups granulated sugar
    2     eggs
    2     teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    2     to 4 drops peppermint candy flavoring
        Christmas red icing color, as desired
    1     package (14 ounces) Candy Cane Colorburst
            Candy Melts, melted


In medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and creamy.

Add eggs, vanilla and peppermint candy flavoring; mix well.

Add flour mixture, one cup at a time; mixing well after each addition.

Remove 1/3 of dough; reserve. To remaining 2/3 dough in mixer bowl, beat in red icing color.

Roll and shape dough between parchment paper into two six x eight-inch disks. Roll and shape untinted dough between parchment paper to a six x eight-inch disk. Chill all dough rectangles at least one hour.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Peel parchment from dough pieces. Stack dough rectangles with untinted dough rectangle between the two red pieces, lining them up as evenly as possible; gently press pieces together.

Gently roll with rolling pin to seal layers; trim uneven edges with sharp knife. Cut dough lengthwise into three two inch-wide slices; cut each column crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick pieces.

Arrange two inches apart on parchment-lined cookie pans.

Chill 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until bottoms are light golden brown.

Remove cookies to cooling grids; cool completely.

Dip cooled cookies into melted Candy Melts; set on parchment-lined cookie pans. Chill until candy is set.
Store in airtight container.

Candy cane cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
    1     cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    1     cup granulated sugar
    1     egg
    1 1/2     teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1/4     teaspoon peppermint candy flavoring
        or 1/2 teaspoon imitation almond extract
    3     cups all-purpose flour
        No-taste red icing color
        White sparkling sugar

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In large bowl, cream butter with sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and peppermint candy flavoring. Add flour one cup at a time to butter mix­ture, mixing well after each addition.

If dough becomes too stiff, add water, a teaspoon at a time. Do not chill dough. Divide dough into two balls. Color one ball of dough red with icing color.

Pinch off a 1-inch ball of each color dough. On flat surface, roll ball into 3-inch-long strips. Place red and white strips side-by-side; roll them together until the two colors have wrapped around one another and are twisted together.

Curve the strip at the top to the shape of a candy cane and place on ungreased cookie sheet; gently press Sparkling Sugar into dough. Bake eight to 10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on pan two minutes; remove to cooling grid and cool completely.

Roll-out cookie recipe
    1     cup (2 sticks) unsalted
            butter, softened
    1 1/2     cups granulated sugar
    1     egg
    1 1/2     teaspoons Pure Vanilla
            Extract
    1/2     teaspoon Imitation
            Almond Extract
    2 3/4     cups all-purpose flour
    2     teaspoons baking
            powder
    1     teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. In mixing bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking pow­­der and salt; add to butter mix­ture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addi­tion. Do not chill dough.

Evergreen treats

Makes about 3 dozen cookies
        Roll-out cookie recipe
    2     to 3 drops peppermint candy flavoring or
        1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
    3     piece trees cutter set
        Cookie sheet
        Cooling grid
        Royal icing*
        Buttercream icing*
        Leaf green icing color
        Round decorating Tip 3
        Candy cane sprinkles
        Yellow colored sugars
        Jumbo nonpareils


Prepare roll-out cookie recipe following instruc­tions, adding peppermint candy flavoring.**

Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick; cut tree shapes and arrange on cookie sheet.

Bake seven to eight minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Cool on cookie sheet one minute; remove to cooling grid and cool completely.

Prepare icings. Tint portions of each icing green, reserving some white. With royal icing, with tip 3, outline tree with green; fill in with thinned icing. Let dry.

For trees with stars, fill in star with white icing; add yellow colored sugars and let dry. Add white icing garland using tip 3 out­line, swirl or zigzag; arrange candy cane sprinkles.

With green buttercream icing, spatula ice cookies smooth or cover cookies with tip 3 zigzag “tree boughs.”

For trees with stars,  ice star with white icing; add yellow sugars, pressing lightly into the icing. If desired, add white icing garlands to trees.

Arrange candy cane sprinkles and jumbo nonpareils.

**Variation: tint cookie dough green with leaf green icing color. Cut cookies as above. Decorate as desired with white icing, sprinkles and sugars.

Candy cane chain
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
        Roll-out cookie recipe
    2     to 3 drops peppermint candy flavoring  or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
        Candy Cane Comfort-Grip Cutter
        Cookie sheet
        Cooling grid
        Red and white cookie icing
        Red and white Candy Melts, melted
        Ruby and white pearlized sugar
        Red and white nonpareils
        Buttercream icing*


Prepare Roll-Out Cookie Recipe following instruc­tions, adding peppermint candy flavoring.

Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick; cut candy cane shapes and arrange on cookie sheet.

Bake nine to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet one minute; remove to cooling grid and cool completely.

To decorate with Cookie Icing or melted Candy Melts, drizzle in zigzag pattern or completely fill in stripes.

To decorate with Sugars and Nonpareils, spatula ice cookies smooth. Arrange sugars or nonpareils in stripe pattern**; lightly press into icing.

**To make it easier to place sugars and nonpareils, pour into disposable decorating bag.

Cut small hole in tip of bag and move the bag over the area to be covered.

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