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Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies

Review Recipe
close up shot of Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies stacked on top of each other with one having a bite taken out of it on a plate
These candy cane shortbread cookies have the perfect buttery texture and hints of peppermint, making them the ideal addition to your holiday festivities.
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Table of Contents
  1. Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies Ingredients
  2. Substitutions and Additions
  3. How to Make This Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies Recipe
  4. How To Serve
  5. Storage
  6. More Recipes You’ll Love
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE
  8. Most Popular Recipes

If you’re looking for a delicious and festive cookie to add to your holiday spread, look no further than these candy cane shortbread cookies. They’re soft, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth with a delicious peppermint flavor.

close up shot of Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies stacked on top of each other with one having a bite taken out of it on a plate

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

These festive treats combine the classic flavor of buttery shortbread with an unmistakable hint of peppermint, creating a delightful winter-time confectionary.

With a vibrant and festive red color and pieces of peppermint candy in every bite, these sweet cookies will have you dreaming of the holidays.

To make these cookies, you’ll need:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid red food coloring
  • ¾ cup (4.67-ounce box) Andes Peppermint crunch candies, finely chopped

PRO TIP:

Make sure you are using peppermint extract and not one labeled as just mint. The mint extract tastes like spearmint (think chewing gum or toothpaste flavor). The peppermint extract is the kind that tastes like candy canes, making it perfect for this shortbread recipe.

Substitutions and Additions

FOOD COLORING: If you prefer, you can omit the red liquid food coloring in this Christmas cookies recipe. I like the pretty pink color it makes the dough. It adds a beautiful contrast to your holiday cookie platters. You will need to note that if you use gel food coloring, you will not need as much as liquid coloring. I suggest you start with 2-3 drops and see what shade of pink dough you get before adding more gel food coloring.

How to Make This Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies Recipe

Once the dough is made for this easy cookie recipe, you’ll add the peppermint candy and food coloring before forming the dough into a log and chilling it up to overnight.

The next day, you will be able to slice the cookies and bake them for a peppermint-flavored treat.

To make a batch of these peppermint shortbread cookies, follow our step-by-step directions:

STEP ONE: In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.

STEP TWO: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the unsalted butter and granulated sugar for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. You will need to stop the mixer halfway through and scrape down the bowl and paddle attachment to ensure that you get a nice smooth mixture.

butter and sugar combined in a measuring cup

STEP THREE: Add the peppermint extract and liquid red food coloring to the beaten butter. Beat for an additional 30 seconds to fully incorporate the food color with the butter. You want your beaten butter to be uniform in color.

peppermint extract and food coloring added to the butter mixture in a measuring cup

STEP FOUR: Next, add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer and mix on medium-low speed just until the flour mixture has been incorporated into the butter.

dry ingredients added to the peppermint extract in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle attachment, add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and mix again just until the flour has been incorporated.

STEP SIX: Lastly, add the finely chopped Andes Peppermint crunch candies and mix on medium speed for 30 to 45 seconds or just until the candies are fully incorporated, and the dough comes together in a rough ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

andes candies added to the dry ingredients in a bowl

STEP SEVEN: Form your cookie dough into a log that measures approximately 12 inches long by 2 inches in diameter.

form cookie dough into 12 inches long

STEP EIGHT: Wrap your shortbread cookie dough log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. 

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

You want your shortbread dough to be really cold before slicing and baking your cookies. This helps minimize the spreading of your cookies when they bake. You can chill your dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before baking them.

STEP NINE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

STEP TEN: Slice your chilled dough into ½-inch thick slices. Place your sliced cookie dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

PRO TIP:

If your room temperature is on the warm side, then you will want to keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator between baked batches of cookies. 

using a knife slice chilled dough and place on cookie sheet

STEP ELEVEN: Bake for 12 minutes or just until the center is set and the edges are just barely starting to get a light golden brown. You do not want to overbake your cookies.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cookies as the suggested baking time approaches.

cookies baked on a cookie sheet

STEP TWELVE: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

How To Serve

For an array of festive desserts, pair the cookies with eggnog pie or a yule log cake for a holiday feast everyone will remember.

Don’t forget to add these sweet treats to your holiday cookie plates this year, along with our Christmas pinwheels and Christmas sugar cookies.

A tall glass of delicious homemade eggnog or a warm mug of homemade hot chocolate will be just the thing to wash them down.

Our chocolate chip shortbread cookies and shortbread cookies recipes are two more delectable buttery cookies that you will love.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: These peppermint shortbread cookies can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 1 week.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the cookie dough log for up to 2 months, tightly wrapped, in two layers of plastic wrap. You will need to thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight once you are ready to slice and bake your cookies.

a overhead shot of Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies on a cooling rack

This buttery candy cane shortbread cookies recipe adds a perfectly festive hint of peppermint that makes them ideal for the holiday season. This year, they will be a great addition to your cookie trays and gift boxes.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use cookie cutters with these cookies?

This shortbread cookie recipe will be too soft to create shapes with cookie cutters. Our no-spread sugar cookies are perfect for cookie cutters.

Do I have to chill the dough?

To achieve soft cookies and prevent them from spreading in the oven, the dough needs time to chill in the fridge.

Can I freeze the unbaked cookies?

The best way to make these cookies ahead of time is to make the dough and then freeze it. Thaw and bake them when you are ready to enjoy them.

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close up shot of Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies stacked on top of each other with one having a bite taken out of it on a plate

Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies

5 from 22 votes
These candy cane shortbread cookies have the perfect buttery texture and hints of peppermint, making them the ideal addition to your holiday festivities.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 27 minutes
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid red food coloring
  • ¾ cup Andes Peppermint crunch candies, or (4.67-ounce box) finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat together the unsalted butter and granulated sugar for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. You will need to stop the mixer halfway through and scrape down the bowl and paddle attachment to ensure that you get a nice smooth mixture.
  • Add the peppermint extract and liquid red food coloring to the beaten butter. Beat for an additional 30 seconds to fully incorporate the food color with the butter. You want your beaten butter to be uniform in color.
  • Next, add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer and mix on medium-low just until the flour has been incorporated into the butter.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle attachment, add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and mix again just until the flour has been incorporated.
  • Lastly, add the finely chopped Andes Peppermint crunch candies and mix on medium speed for 30 to 45 seconds or just until the candies are fully incorporated, and the dough comes together in a rough ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Form your cookie dough into a log that measures approximately 12 inches long by 2 inches in diameter.
  • Wrap your cookie dough log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice your chilled dough into ½-inch thick slices. Place your sliced cookie dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or just until the center is set and the edges are just barely starting to get a light golden brown. You do not want to overbake your cookies.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Make sure you are using peppermint extract and not one labeled as just mint. The mint extract tastes like spearmint (think chewing gum or toothpaste flavor). The peppermint extract is the kind that tastes like candy canes making it perfect for this shortbread recipe.
  • You want your shortbread dough to be really cold before slicing and baking your cookies. This helps minimize the spreading of your cookies when they bake. You can chill your dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before baking them.
  • If your room temperature is on the warm side, then you will want to keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator between baked batches of cookies.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cookies as the suggested baking time approaches.

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Debbie Rusk says

    5 stars
    Would absolutely make these with my grandchildren!! These would be great Christmas
    gifts with hot chocolate packs.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Karen says

    5 stars
    I am positive that these would taste excellent with homemade hot chocolate! Great recipe to get help from my little grandson 🙂 thank you!

  3. Debra Gordon says

    5 stars
    This cookie looks so festive & sounds yummy. It would be perfect with a cup of hot cocoa! I’m hoping I can find the Andes mints at my small town grocery store. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. VICKIE BROWN says

    5 stars
    Yes! I would love to drink a cup of homemade hot chocolate with these candy cane shortbread cookies?
    Mmmmmm❣️ Yummmy❣️

  5. Berni Malek says

    5 stars
    I LOVE everything peppermint!! These are the perfect match with some mint hot chocolate. What a wonderful idea for baking these cookies on a cold, wintry day like today. (BINGHAMTON, NY) Thank you for giving us a different cookie recipe. Berni Malek

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