I distinctly remember a two-day car trip from New York to Florida to visit family when I was younger where two of my brothers and I were cramped in the back seat of our Buick station wagon and used candy canes as weapons. Mom had decorated the Christmas tree that year with peppermint and chocolate candy canes and I packed a bunch of them for our trip. My brother and I would suck on the candy canes until the ends made perfectly sharp points and would then jab each other with them. I’m sure my parents were thrilled.
Candy canes are generally unexciting, but these cookies make them worthwhile. They puff up while baking but cool to be thin and crisp. The candy cane chunks melt and thin out to add a peppermint flavor to the entire cookie. These cookies are so good that Alex ate more of them in one day than I’ve ever seen him eat, so you should probably make them, but also share them because ’tis the season.
chocolate candy cane cookies
makes 4 dozen cookies
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 c chopped candy canes (11-12 candy canes)
Place all of the unwrapped candy canes in a plastic bag and break them with the back of a spoon or a mallet. Be careful not to over-crush them, they’ll turn to candy dust quickly. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer or using a hand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and blend well. Combine the four, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and slowly add it to the mixer on low speed. When it’s well-mixed, stir in the chocolate and candy cane pieces. Line cookie sheets with parchment or a silpat and add the batter by heaping teaspoons, leaving them enough room to spread out. Bake for 8-9 minutes and let them cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring them to a cooling rack.