Peppermint Spritz Cookies

Crushed candy canes add a cheerful twist to these red and white swirled cookies.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 45 to 50 cookies
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Ingredients

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

10 mini candy canes, finely crushed (about 1/4 cup)

Red gel food coloring, such as bright red, for coloring the dough

Directions

Special equipment:
a cookie press with a wreath disc
  1. Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the almond and vanilla extracts and egg and mix until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. 
  3. Remove a third of the dough to a flour-dusted surface and reserve. Add the candy canes to the dough left in the bowl and mix on low until just combined. Remove to a flour-dusted surface and fold with your hands until it comes together. 
  4. Add the reserved dough back to the mixer bowl and add enough red gel food coloring until it is a vibrant red like a fire truck, about 10 drops. Mix on low until the dough is completely red. Remove to a flour-dusted surface and fold with your hands until it comes together. 
  5. Tear off 2 Ping-Pong ball-size pieces of the white dough and add to the barrel of a cookie press; add 1 marble-size piece of the red dough. Repeat this pattern until the barrel is filled (you will not use all of the dough). Place a wreath disc onto the cookie press barrel according to the manufacturer's instructions. Press the cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet and set aside. Repeat 2 more times in the same pattern with the remaining dough.  
  6. Bake 2 of the batches until the cookies are firm but not yet browning on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool the cookies for 1 minute on the baking sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Bake the third batch and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

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