The inspiration for these cookies is Friendly's peppermint stick ice cream, which has chunks of peppermint candy mixed into vanilla ice cream. The colors from the candy bleed out into the white ice cream to make a very nice streaky effect. By mixing the candy into the dough, I hoped to achieve something similar with these cookies. I tried several varieties--windowpane cookies with candy melted in the middle, ball cookies rolled in crushed candy, cut-outs with candy dust or candy shards sprinkled over the top--and I think they all came out very nicely.
About 50 cookies
½ cup white vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup rice/soy milk (or fruit juice)
8 candy canes or other peppermint candy, crushed
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
No nutrition information available
Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Mix. Add the milk (or fruit juice). Mix. Add ½ cup of candy cane pieces. Mix. Add about a half-cup of flour at a time to the creamed mixture, mixing on low speed or by hand until dough is firm but not hard. Add extra flour if needed. If there is time, chill dough for 1 hour or freeze for 15 minutes. Roll the dough to about ¼" (or until the pieces of candy start feeling like bumps in the road) and cut with cookie cutters. If desired, sprinkle remaining candy cane pieces/dust on top, or cut out "windowpanes" and melt candy in them. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden brown on the bottoms or firm on the tops. Makes about 50 cookies (fewer if they are larger).
Note: These cookies should be soft. If you know your oven runs hot, reduce the cooking time or lower the temperature to 375 degrees.
WARNING: When these cookies come out of the oven, the candy is molten. Do not touch the cookies until it has cooled and solidified. Fortunately that only takes a few minutes.