Twisted Beet Cookies (a.k.a. Candy Cane Cookies)



Growing up my grandmother would ALWAYS make candy cane cookies, every year at the Holidays.  You know the ones that look like candy canes but are a cookie...oh how I loved them.  So soft, sweet, minty and pretty!  So some time ago I set out to re-do the traditional recipe into a healthier version free from refined sugar and artificial coloring.  It took a bit of experimenting but I have got it just right!  In fact we recently made them in one of my Petit Chef cooking classes and all of the kids left blissfully exclaiming how good they were.  In fact I plan to make them again on Friday...just because.  

Twisted Beet Cookies - 12 Months+
Ingredients:
¾ cup unsalted butter or Earth Balance (room temp)
1/2 cup Organic sugar
¼ cup Organic Powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure peppermint extract
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 cups flour
¼ cup beet puree (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.  Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl.  Add the egg and beat the mixture well.  Next mix in the vanilla and the peppermint extracts.  Slowly add the flour until a thick cookie dough is formed.  Divide the dough in half, leaving half the dough in one bowl and the other half in another.  Into one half mix the peppermint water until a soft dough is reached.  To the other half mix in the beet puree until a soft, red dough is formed.  Allow the dough  to chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. Using about a tbsp of each dough roll out 4 inch ropes and twist them together to make the shape of a candy cane.  Bake the cookies on an un-greased cookie sheet for about 8-10 minutes.  They should be firm but not brown.  This recipes makes about 25 cookies.  These cookies can be frozen for up to a month.  This recipe is vegetarian and can be gluten free is you substitute rice flour.


Beet Puree
Ingredients:
1 Large Beet

Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees F.  Wash the beet well and place on a baking sheet(I suggest covering it in foil-beets stain).  Bake for about 50-60 minutes.  The beet should be very tender so it will puree easily.  Depending on the size of the beet I find cooking times vary so more baking time may be needed.  Allow the beet to cool, then remove the skin off the beet, sometimes a knife or vegetable peeler is the easiest way to get the skin off.  Next puree the beet in a food processor until you have a smooth consistency.  You may need to add a little water if you find it is too chunky.  Also keep in mind beets often take a bit longer to puree then other steamed/ baked vegetables so keep pureeing until you get the desired consistency.  This recipe will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.  It will fill about 1 ice cube tray (5-10 servings)

  This recipe is vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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