It’s that time of year for gift-giving. My two kids are in school now so I had to think of some gift ideas for their teachers. I know I could have taken the easy way-out and just joined in with the group gift but I fancied doing something a little more creative – something that showed a little effort at least. I have been inspired by so many lovely gift ideas from Pinterest and holiday magazines that I thought that now I have a legitimate excuse to make something cute! I got myself some Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses which I only got acquainted with last year and vowed to myself then that come Christmas 2013 I would make something with it.
With a little internet search I found this easy recipe online for Candy Cane Blossom Cookies. They look truly adorable and didn’t seem complicated at all. I knew I could do it and thought that it would be a great gift for William and Sophie’s teachers, too. I got them some lovely Christmas mugs and then after finding some clear plastic bags in the grocery to use as cookie bags – I knew then that this is what I am going to give them as their Christmas present.
I slightly adapted the recipe by adding some Eggnog to the mix – I had some eggnog to use up and I am addicted to eggnog so for me it always makes sense to add them to anything sweet that I am making including these cookies. Though the recipe seems simple and quite plain – no spices or any special ingredients but for the colored sugar and the candy cane kisses – I honestly didn’t think it would taste nice at all. I have never been a huge fan of sugar cookies much anyway….but when I bit into these cookies – wow, they truly delivered an amazingly delicious taste. You taste a little hint of eggnog and then bam the delicious peppermint candies give it that extra yum! Make sure not to over bake these so they don’t harden but retain some soft-chewiness in them. I baked it exactly for 8 minutes and they were perfect. I note my adaptations on the recipe below.
So, if you’re still on the lookout for a cute holiday gift this is the perfect solution – quick and easy but truly yummy cookies – place them in a clear plastic bag, place inside a cute holiday mug or perhaps in a lovely holiday tin and am sure the recipient would be so happy with your thoughtful present. It surely shows love and effort in preparation but honestly it wasn’t anything difficult to make. Well, at least that’s what I hope to achieve. Hope they enjoy the cookies as much as me and my kiddies did!
48 (or more) Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane Mint Candies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted Butter, softened (room temp)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Eggnog (or half and half or regular milk)
Red and Green Sugar crystals
Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove wrappers from the candies.
Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Beat the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer until well blended.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the eggnog to the butter mixture, beating until everything is well combined.
If the mixture is quite sticky refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. That will make it easier to handle.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in red and green sugar or a combo of the two. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and the cookies are set. Remove from the oven and cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet. Press a candy piece into the center of each cookie. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes at least 48 cookies (perhaps a few more).
Adapted from Hershey’s Candy Cane Blossom Cookie recipe.
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