December 8, 2011

Candy Cane Cookies - A Flop

Around Christmas we start making many of our presents for our neighbors, friends, preschool teachers and family as I mentioned in my Macaroni Ornament post. Sometimes it pairs with treat we have canned over the summer like the rosemary peach jam (we added fresh loaves of bread), sparkling green pepper jelly, tomato sauce (bread sticks and italian seasoning) or russian tea (mugs). We also usually bake cookies to go along. Our only traditional recipe is my favorite molasses cookies, but the others are usually picked out by the kids each year according to their whims. I save my Family Fun, Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens December issues and a few special Christmas cookbooks. The kids look through them and each pick one recipe or project. This was the first year I let Sausage Boy pick out his own. I figured at three he can make a somewhat reasonable choice. Little did I know what I was in for! 
Right away he picked out these candy cane cookies from Family Fun Magazine. Regular readers of  my blog will know that we are big fans of FF here in Chickenville. All you have to do is search the archives and you'll find all kinds of recipes and crafts we have done from the magazine.They were so cute in the magazine! I had visions of making them for everyone on our gift list so I decided on making a double batch. I imagined we'd have a fun time rolling them out and creating little Christmas masterpeices. Things did not go as planned. Not only did these innocent little cookies take WAY longer than I planned, but they weren't exactly easy to assemble - and in the end, our cookies looked nothing like the slim delicate candy canes pictured in the recipe. The magazine said it would take about 30 minutes prep time and 10 minutes cook time. Not to let Family Fun off the hook, but it seems they have published a better version of this recipe online that does state a 1 hour and 20 minute total prep and cook time! With that, I invite my fearless readers to step into my disaster, so you can avoid one of your own!

The trouble started almost immediately with the dough. It was super soft after making it, so we had to chill it in the fridge for a good hour (unplanned delays are not good with a three year old). Rolling the dough into "snakes" was fun until it kept breaking. He's so used to playdough, I didn't even think about this being a problem.
Then I started having problems twisting the two colors together. It was not easy. I was frustrated, but to his credit, Sausage was not. His colors pretty much ended up melded together and I had to make the cane shape, but he managed about four cookies which took about 30 minutes. These are his masterpieces. He was so very proud!
I had to make the rest of the the batch because I couldn't let him down. I just wasn't expecting it to be that much of a challenge. I know decorated sugar cookies take time, but these looked deceivingly easy. It was laborious rolling the dough out and then twisting the colors together (to say nothing of trying to get a photo for you all)!
With practice (remember I prepped a double recipe) I got a little better. These were the few that turned out pretty. They each took about 25 minutes to make. That's maybe a *slight* exaggeration.
After all of that work, the cookies are VERY fragile. Even though I made the ropes thick they still broke at the slightest un-tender touch. These are NOT cookies for shipping to my cousin in California or even for walking next door to the neighbors house.
Also, I did have to reduce the cooking time to 7 minutes because the white part of the cane was browning making it look like a dirty candy cane. Yuck!
Overall not a recipe we will be making again. Too much work for a so-so cookie. But this face made it all worth the trouble. I enjoyed cracking up with my sweet, silly Sausage Boy who exhibited courage in the face of adversity. I love that kid.



  1. Such a cute little fellow you have - totally makes up for the cookies!

  2. I love the honesty.......sometimes things just don't work out perfect. it looks so easy in the magazine and TV. but of course they only show what actually rarely hear about the ones that didn't work time though for these treats.

  3. Hey, if Sausage Boy liked them, then they were a success!


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