These candy cane shortbread cookies are a super easy, super festive cookie and they’ll look so fun on your Christmas cookie tray this year.
I like to try at least one or two new shortbread variations every Christmas. This year, after making our peppermint bark, I realized that I had way over-purchased the crushed candy cane bits, so this delightful recipe came to be out of the necessity of finding ways to use those candy cane bits up. 🙂 I’ve done chocolate-dipped shortbread fingers with candy cane bits sprinkled on the melted chocolate, but I love this quick and simple version even more, actually. Plus, I’m always looking for non-chocolate treats because we have a chocolate allergy in our extended family, so I want some options for them on my cookie tray as well. So here’s how to make this super easy Christmas cookie.
Ingredients Needed for the Candy Cane Shortbread Cookies
These are just so simple. You’ll need:
- All-purpose flour
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Butter or plant-based butter substitute
- Crushed candy cane bits
That’s it! Just a note on the butter: I always use plant-based ingredients in my baking and I’ve used a number of different types and brands over the years. I recently started using the Becel brand sticks and have found them to be great for all recipes in general. A lot of bakeries seem to use this brand in their vegan baked goods rather than the more expensive plant-based substitutes as well.
You can either buy pre-crushed candy cane bits or you can just crush up a few candy canes yourself, whichever works for you.
Making the Candy Cane Shortbread
You can definitely mix this up by hand, but I always use my stand mixer, because the dough does become quite stiff. First cream together the butter and sugar, then add in the flour. If you find that you added a tiny bit too much flour and your dough is really crumbly and not coming together, feel free to cheat and add a couple of tablespoons of water. It won’t mess things up. 🙂
Once you have a nice dough, add in the candy cane bits at a low speed until they’re evenly dispersed.
You can definitely chill the dough once it’s made and bake it the following day, but this isn’t a dough that you need to chill before rolling it out. In fact, you’ll probably want to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before you start trying to roll because it will be quite crumbly otherwise.
Roll the dough out to about 1/8″, then use cookie cutters to cut your shapes. I found it quite easy to cut even with the candy cane bits, which is nice.
Bake your cookies on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet and cool them completely on a cooling rack.
I will say that these cookies are great right out of the oven, but seem to get better after a day or two, so this is a great contender for a make-ahead cookie and they freeze beautifully.
Here’s the full printable recipe! Use it on your phone or iPad from here or print it out for your recipe binder.
These candy cane shortbread cookies are a super easy, super festive cookie and they'll look so fun on your Christmas cookie tray this year.
- 3/4 cup Butter (or plant-based substitute)
- 3/4 cup Confectioner's sugar
- 1.5 cup Flour (plus 3 tbsp for rolling)
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/4 cup Crushed candy cane bits
Cream together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and mix until well-combined.
Add in the flour, a little bit at a time, and continue mixing until everything is combined. With the speed on low, add in the candy cane bits and mix until they're just distributed throughout.
Roll out the dough to about 1/8" thick, cut out your shapes and place them on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake at 325° for 12 minutes, rotating your baking sheet halfway through.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS
- Plant-Based Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Basic Plant-Based Shortbread Recipe
- Soft and Chewy Sprinkle Cookie Recipe
- Plant-Based Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- The Creek Line House Dessert Recipe Archives
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.