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Peppermint Candy Cookies

So Cute! This is from my 2009 Taste of Home Cookies book. These are so festive – so tasty – so colorful. These are going to be fun to add to my cookie trays.


Peppermint Swirls

I make these every year because they are a favorite of mine. I love munching on these with coffee in the morning. I prepare these; wrap them in plastic saran wrap; wrap in parchment; wrap a paper towel tube around to keep the shape while in the refrigerator (that way if anything bumps in to them – the tube protects them) All I do is slice and bake when I am craving them. The boys called these peppermint swirls when they were little and it stuck in our home.

Peppermint pinwheels 

Makes about 4 dozen

¾ cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp peppermint extract

¼ tsp red liquid food coloring

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat egg yolk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half, add extract and red food coloring to one portion. Roll out each portion of dough between waxed paper into a 16-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Remove waxed paper. Place red rectangle over plain rectangle. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with long side. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or until firm.

Unwrap the dough and cut into ¼-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

One of the photos shows how I put the roll of dough in wrapping paper tubes to leave in the fridge so that the dough would not flatten on the side it sat on and this also protected it from other items bumping in to it in the fridge I also do orange extract to the white dough and raspberry or cherry extract to the red dough. Melted chocolate to dark dough and mint extract or almond extract to the white dough. I’ve also done chocolate and peanut butter. There are so many ways you can create with these all throughout the year. Among the variety of flavors I combine with this cookie – the peppermint is my favorite. On some, I’ll put the color on outside and then some times I’ll switch because it really makes the dish festive

Cherry Icebox Cookies

Cherry Icebox Cookies

I share a couple ideas for what I will do differently next time. This recipe is from a 2009 Taste of Home magazine. Jim says they are yummy. His favorite are the ones with chocolate. I want the cherries to be more dominant so I will add cherry extract next time.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
4 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped maraschino cherries

(I added ½ cup chopped chocolate chips to one half of this)

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Beat in cherry and lemon juices. Stir in nuts and the cherries.

Shape into four 12 in. rolls: wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.

Unwrap and cut into ¼-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes – I did 12 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes more than 6 dozen

I filled the cookie sheet with over 30 of these and then I froze the other 4 1/2 logs for later baking.

Tip: After I mixed everything – I cut the dough ball in to 2 sections; I put one section back in the processor, and combined chopped chocolate chips with it. These were my favorite.

Next time I will add chocolate chips to the entire recipe. Adding chocolate makes these taste like chocolate covered cherries.

I don’t even taste the lemon and I was curious why it was in the recipe. The cherry seems to be more prevalent with the milk chocolate chips (to me) Jim says he definitely tastes the cherries He did not even know this called for lemon juice. I am thinking maybe cut back on the lemon juice as I am not sure why it is needed

I will also replace one tsp. of lemon juice with cherry flavoring. You cannot taste the lemon juice, and I want to add more cherry flavor to these. I have another idea; I have a bag of cherry chips, thinking I’ll add these to half the batch and chocolate to the other half, or mix.

The third row in the photo shows what the bottom of these look like even when the top does not show and brown. 12 minutes here in Indiana worked for me

Toffee Chocolate Pinwheels

Toffee Chocolate Pinwheels

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp rum extract

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup crushed toffee bits

¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips, miniature or chopped

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and rum extract. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually beat into the creamed mixture. Shape dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.

On a sheet of waxed paper, roll dough into a 10-inch square. In a small bowl, combine toffee bit and chocolate chips; sprinkle over dough to within 1 inch of edges. Using waxed paper, tightly roll dough jelly-roll style, removing the paper as you roll. Wrap in waxed paper and/or plastic; put in tube for shaping; refrigerate until firm enough to slice (I leave in fridge overnight.

Preheat oven to 375. Unwrap dough and cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices. You need to experiment here with width. Too thin – they bake quickly are very crispy when they cool down, like a chip. I decided I preferred them thicker. The thicker ones barely brown and they are done – they look like a touch of brown on the edges. Place slices 2-inches apart on a paper-lined baking sheet. I used my silicone mat. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are brown but watch and write down your time. Cool on pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

This dough freezes well. I wrapped it in waxed paper, and then plastic.

sprinkle the filling to the edge
looks like this as you pull the paper back – fold the paper for easy grasping
smooth over the paper dough log each time you roll
preparing for the fridge for overnight
the next day; slicing the log
this is the thickness I prefer
eat the ugly ends -tastes the same 
inside of the pinwheel

Lime Shortbread with Dried Cherries

Lime Shortbread with Dried Cherries and/or
Orange Shortbread with Dried Cranberries
Lemon Lime Shortbread with Dried Kiwi
Lemon Shortbread with Dried Blueberry

I’ve made this recipe many times over the years and today I decided to add something – 1/8 tsp of extract to compliment – see note at the bottom

1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp graded lime peel
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup chopped dried cherries

In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until blended. Beat in lime peel and extracts. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in cherries.

Divide dough in half; shape each into a 7-in-long roll. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until firm
Unwrap and cut dough crosswise into ¼-in-slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Tip: Very important to place in fridge for several hours.

Note: My add in: I wanted to try Cranberries and Orange because I had both. I did not have enough zest on the orange to create 1 Tbsp (I had used part of it in another recipe earlier) so I added 1/8 tsp orange extract. Be very careful with the amount of extract – it is powerful, and can be too much. Think of adding extract like you would a recipe that calls for a pinch of salt.

These are so delicious! I’m thinking white chocolate drizzled over would be tasty as well. But these do not need help, and they taste even better after they have been sitting in the container for a day or more.
For the cherry/lime – I added 1/8 tsp lime extract – I just the extra zing the extracts have added to these cookies. For the Lemon lime Kiwi – I added a combo of lemon and lime oil to equal about 1/4 tsp.

To differentiate the two while sitting in the fridge – I pressed the cherry log on each side so that it resembled a square/cube. You can tell the difference in taste, of course, but not right away looking at them side by side.

These logs freeze well. Just wrap in saran wrap; wrap a paper tube around to hold shape; put in ziploc freezer bag with name; oven temp; and baking time. When you pull the log out of the freezer – let it sit for about 15 minutes; I do this while the oven is warming.

Makes about 5 dozen

the square ones are the dried cherries; the round are the dried cranberries
this is how I store them – paper towel or gift wrap tubes – helps hold their shape and protect them against bumping in the refrigerator