I had never heard of these cookies until I married into the Holm Family. But, ya’ll, they are a BIG deal.
It was a tradition they shared with their mama, and one they each want to share and pass onto their own littles.
I can imagine clearly, these five blonde headed farm babies helping their mama make these cookies, in their farm house kitchen, with snow falling outside in the North Dakota winds. It connects me to bits of Corey’s childhood, which I love.
This is the first year I feel like I successfully created a gluten free version. In years past, they always turned out very crumbly. Like they would fall apart while trying to take them off the baking sheet. They tasted great, but the texture was off.
So I adjusted two things: I added an egg to act as a binder, and I refrigerated before rolling out and before baking.
Wyatt loved helping with these this year. It was hilarious. He preferred making “powerful night crawlers” AKA worms. LOL. Life with boys!
I hope you and your littles enjoy making these Holm treasures!
1 CUP salted butter
1 CUP powdered sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 TSP vanilla extract
1 TSP peppermint extract
3 CUPS gluten free flour (I used Gluten Free Cup 4 Cup Flour)
***Red food coloring
Combine butter and sugar in standing mixer and beat with paddle attachment for 3-4 minutes, or until it becomes light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and peppermint. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add flour one cup at a time, mixing in between additions. Mix until the flour is completely combined.
Remove half of the dough and wrap in plastic wrap, to refrigerate. To remaining dough in the mixer, add your red food coloring. Start with a couple drops, mix, and continue adding until you get the desired color. Place red dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour, or up to 3 days.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper, and set oven to 375 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator and use a spoon to scoop equal amounts white dough and red dough, about a walnut size of each. Roll out each color into a ‘snake’ about 6 inches long, then twist them together to form a candy cane. Place on baking sheet.
Before baking, place cookies back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Then pop in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Slide parchment with cookies, onto counter and let cool, before trying to move cookies to a cooling rack or plate.
My favorite way to eat these darlings, is to enjoy with a cup of hot cocoa! Glory!
***Also, I call these “vintage” candy cane cookies because the red isn’t as bold. I don’t use artificial food dyes, and in the past I used the brand Color Garden, which gave great color, but you only got one use out it, which is spendy. This time I used Watkins. More for your money, but not as bold in color. So there’s that tidbit!?