"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Candy Cane Cookies #Foodie Friday

candy cane cookies: simple living and eating

My mother's mom was an amazing baker. She made intricate Italian cookies for weddings and holiday get together. Most of the cookies she made were too complicated to create with children, except candy cane cookies, which do require a little patience, but are a fun way to spend the afternoon with your grandchildren.

When my grandmother passed away my mother continued to make candy cane cookies every Christmas with us kids. Doing this kept the memory of my grandmother alive for me.

When my kids were little my mother would make these cookies with them and tell them about what a mess I would make when I made them as a kid. She is getting older and we don't live close by, so I make candy cane cookies with my kids every year. We decorate presents with them, hang them on the tree, and leave them out in a plate on Christmas Eve for Santa.

They are truly our most special holiday cookie…from my family to yours…enjoy.

making candy cane cookies: simple living and eating

Candy Cane Cookies

by Diane Balch

preparation: 1 hour                              serving: 1 dozen cookies 


12 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour,  plus 1/4 cup of flour for red dough
20 drops of red food coloring


1) Make the dough at least 2 hours before you want to bake it.  Refrigerate dough for 2 hours or overnight. 

2) In a mixer on medium high cream the butter and sugar together. When it smooth add the egg, salt and almond and vanilla extracts.

3) On medium low speed slowing pour in the flour until it is all mixed with the wet ingredients.

4) Remove half of the dough from the mixer. The remaining dough add 1/4 cup of flour and the food coloring. Mix until color is evenly spread through the dough.

5) Roll out a tablespoon of red dough and a tablespoon of uncolored dough into 6 to 8 inch long sticks. 

6) Twist them together and shape them into a candy cane. Press the dough together a little, especially on the ends.

7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all the cookies are shaped. If the dough gets to wet add a little flour or roll the pieces on a well floured surface.

8) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, center rack.

9) Bake the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 8 to 10 minutes or until they set but don't let them brown. Turn the sheet midway through cooking. 

Images from: Tablespoon

Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple to find out what blogger she is featuring this week!!!

Foodie Friday Features:

From: SourdoughNative

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken
Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken
I love a good Asia dish to break out of the same old seasoning, plus this chicken dish is baked not fried!

From: 21st Century Housewife

Cod with Mushroom and Spinach Sauce
Cod with Mushroom and Spinach Sauce

I love how simple and versatile this sauce is… put over any type of white fish or chicken.

From: The Crafting Foodie

Apple and Cranberry Hand Pies
Apple and Cranberry Hand Pies

Fill these gorgeous little hand pies with either seasonal fruit: apple or cranberry. Great for dessert or breakfast.

Don't forget to join us on Dec 10th. Cook a dish from Germany

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This post is shared on the following food/craft parties. Be sure to check them out:

Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ 21st Century Housewife
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen
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 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
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Look What I Made @ Creations by Kara

Thursday Food:

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:

Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
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  1. Those candy cane cookies are adorable. Just made some Christmas cookies myself! Thanks for hosting a great party!

    1. Thank you Elizabeth,
      They are very special to me. Thanks for coming by.

  2. Hi Diane,
    What a loving gift and beautiful memories, the Candy Cane Cookies are very special! Hope you are keeping warm and cozy this weekend its going to be a cold one. Thanks so much for the awesome party!
    Miz Helen

    1. Thanks Miz Helen,
      We would love a dusting of snow… everything is so gray here right now. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Thanks for the party Diane. Love the candy cane cookies!

    1. Thanks Deb good to see you. Have a great weekend.

  4. What a great memory to share and pass onto your children :) Love the cookies, Diane. Thanks so much for hosting!

    1. Thanks Jamie,
      It is wonderful to have a good Christmas tradition.

  5. What an awesome tradition Diane. You are so lucky to have known your relatives and had family recipes passed down. I love candy cane cookies...I can't wait to try your recipe. :)

    1. Unfortunately with Italians it is hard to get written recipes, but this one my mom wrote down… they cook everything from memory and change it all the time.

  6. What a fabulous tradition and how fun to see your girls making the candy canes. It's so special to have family recipes and traditions. Thank you for hosting and I hope you have a fabulous weekend.

    1. Thanks Sam,
      My kids look forward to making the cookies every year. Always good to see you here.

  7. Love the candy cane cookies! Look forward to my granddaughter getting a little older so we could try these! Thanks for hosting!

    1. I started making these when I was pretty small. 2 or 3 years old. At this age they usually just play with the dough you give them and you end up making the cookies.. but they have a good time.

  8. What lovely memories, Diane! Your Candy Cane Cookies look delicious. I love family recipes like this. Thank you for featuring my Cod with Mushroom and Spinach Sauce too! thank you for hosting and have a lovely weekend :-)

    1. You are so welcome,,, yes it is good to have traditions, especially food ones...they tend to be kept.

  9. Thanks so much for hosting Diane. Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Oh, I love family recipes and passing them down. Thanks so much for sharing, Diane - and for hosting. Have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Robyn,
      Me too... I always know the recipe is going to be good if it has been passed down and I love the knowing about the memories connected to the recipe too.

  11. I have such fond memories of making these exact same cookies with my oldest daughter. To this day if she's home for Christmas she still asks to make them and she's 27 now!
    Thank you for featuring my Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken, everything looks so delicious!!
    Hugs, Kari/SourdoughNative

    1. How wonderful Kari… what a great coincidence. They are so much fun to make with kids.

  12. How wonderful to have such special memories of baking with your grandmother, Diane. Your cookies look great! I’m going to bookmark this and bake them with my grandkids next weekend. My granddaughter loves to bake! Love the photo of the girls baking…they look like they are having a wonderful time!!

    1. Thanks Kathy,,, your granddaughter will have a ball with these. Enjoy.

  13. These are so much fun Diane! I think I'm going to make some with my girls tomorrow. They'll have a blast twisting them together.

    1. It super fun... and I always let them go off a little on shapes. Enjoy, let me know how they turn out.

  14. These cookies look so cute, and how wonderful to have a tradition with your children which keeps your own memories alive.

    1. Thanks so much... food is such a good way to keep memories alive.

  15. A great collection of Christmas Goodies! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and enjoy your weekend!
    Miz Helen

  16. These are such great holiday cookies! I would have loved making these with my daughter when she was little. Thank you for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.


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