Today we are launching our Holiday cookie series, where we will bring you several tasty cookie recipes over the next week or so. In our family, holiday baking is one of our most celebrated traditions. We usually devote at least a few days during the holiday season to baking all day. Baked goods make a delicious and thoughtful gift for anyone special in your life. Wrap the treats in some festive packaging and you’re ready to go! To kick off our online cookie party, we will be sharing Candy Cane cookie sandwiches. These are very similar to an Oreo (only better) with a festive twist- candy canes! The peppermint-rimmed cookies are not only delicious but are also super cute and festive! As usual, we’re sharing a vegan and nonvegan recipe for these cute cookies.
Candy Cane Lane is one click away!
Jess’s Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches
Nikki has been making these candy cane sandwiches for years; I decided it was about time I joined in the fun and made a vegan version! These cookies are really fun to make and are such a unique treat to give as a gift. If you’re gifting these to families with children (or picky adults!) I usually leave a few cookie sandwiches plain, without candy cane pieces since peppermint can be a strong flavor for little ones. Or you can buy fruity flavored candy canes! The candy canes I bought look purple instead of red because the company uses natural food dye from fruit juice. You can find them here; I bought them at a vegan specialty store but have also seen them at Whole Foods.
Makes about 10 sandwiches
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3 oz vanilla soy/almond/coconut yogurt
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- About 4 crushed candy canes
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer cream together the shortening and sugar on medium speed until combined. Add in the yogurt, vanilla extract and mix again. Make sure you’re scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl to get all of the ingredients in.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt using a whisk to break up any clumpy parts.
Add this mixture to the stand mixer bowl, about 1/2 cup at a time so it doesn’t go flying everywhere. At first the batter will be very thick but just continue to mix until it softens and comes together. It should be pretty moist at the end.
Spoon small balls of dough onto your cookie sheet and flatten into small discs with your fingers. Be conscious of making fingerprints (try to avoid), and try to make them similar in size. Also make sure you have an even number of cookies since each one needs a pair! I actually had one left over which was perfect for sampling!
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, or until they don’t look moist on the tops. Do not bake for longer than 10 minutes; these cookies get a burnt taste easily. 8 minutes seemed to be perfect for mine. Once out of the oven cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack. They’ll need to cool completely before you add the icing.
While the cookies are baking start on the filling. For the icing you will need your stand mixer again. Cream together the Earth Balance and shortening. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, first on a low speed, and working up to a high speed after the sugar is pretty well mixed in (just to avoid it flying all over the place). Mix until well combined, just a few minutes.
Next, time for some therapy with crushing the candy canes! You can buy pre-crushed candy canes like Nikki did or use a hammer, book, etc. to crush whole canes.
You’ll need about 4-5 candy canes for these cookies. I unwrap the canes, put them in a large ziplock bag and fold the bag over so there’s an extra layer between the hammer and the canes. Then just hammer away! You want pretty small pieces so it may take a few whacks.
Don’t forget to check on your cookies! Set up your decorating station; pour the crushed candy onto a cutting board and grab a knife to ice the cookies.
Once the cookies are completely cool, match them up with a similar sized partner cookie. Then smear a big (huge!) dollop of icing on one inside of a cookie. You want to really color outside the lines here; the icing should be overflowing over the edges so your candy canes have something to stick to. Sandwich the cookies together and spin the cookie in circles on the candy cane surface so the crushed candy sticks to the icing.You may need a few rolls. And that’s it! You’ve got yourself a yummy sweet sandwich with a minty kick.
Nikki’s Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches
These quick and easy cookies are a go-to holiday recipe for me. They aren’t made from scratch (gasp!), but take the semi-homemade approach that is much appreciated during the busy holiday season. The cookie portion is made with Nabisco Chocolate Wafers (found in most grocery stores). The icing is homemade and is a basic powdered sugar and butter combo with a hint of peppermint extract. The cookies are finished by being rolled in candy canes for a festive addition. Every year I use candy canes and/or peppermints and crush them using a mallet or hammer. However, this year, my thoughtful mom surprised me with these pre-crushed peppermints called Mint Twists. I highly recommend using them if you can, they make this recipe even easier and faster without compromising anything. I guarantee this recipe will become one of your most loved holiday cookie recipes. It is so easy you can even invite the kids to help make them!
- 1 package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- crushed candy canes or 1 package Mint Twists
First, cream together the butter, peppermint extract, and powdered sugar in a mixer. Tip: stir the mixture before turning on the mixture to avoid that in-your-face puff of powdered sugar.
Next, get your candy canes ready. If you are using candy canes instead of Mint Twists, place the candy canes (unwrapped) in a large Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and crush using a hammer, mallet, or even a rolling pin.
Pour the crushed candy canes onto a plate.
Smear the icing onto the inside of one cookie. The amount should be similiar to what is shown above. You’ll get the hang of it! Place another cookie on top of the icing- like an Oreo. Press gently so the icing can be seen on the edges of the cookie sandwich.
Roll the cookie in the crushed candy canes, making sure the candy canes stick to the icing.
They should look something like this!
Okay, seriously, how easy was that?! We are done! Time to enjoy!!