Coupler (optional) - helps to keep icing from leaking
1cup2 sticks cold unsalted butter
red gel food coloring
In a small bowl, beat an egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract and ¾ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together 2½ cups of flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon baking powder. Set aside.
Cut 1 cup (2 sticks) of cold butter into ½ inch chunks.
Process the butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar in the food processor until combined, about 30 seconds.
Add in the egg mixture. Process until combined, about 10 seconds.
Then add the flour mixture and process until all of the flour is combined, about 30 seconds.
Divide the dough in half.
Roll the cookie dough out to about 1/8" thick with a rolling pin. Putting a piece of parchment paper on either side of the dough will prevent it from sticking.
Repeat with the other ball of dough.
Refrigerate the rolled out dough (leaving the parchment paper in place) for 1½ hours, or freeze for 30 minutes.
When the cookie dough is stiff, take the first sheet of cookie dough out of the refrigerator (leaving the other one in).
Peel off the top layer of parchment paper.
Use the candy cane cookie cutter to cut shapes in the cookie dough.
Repeat the process with the second sheet of cookie dough.
To make sure the cut-out cookies keep their shape, refrigerate the dough for another 30 minutes or until the it is stiff.
Use a thin spatula (or a cake knife) to separate the cookies from the bottom layer of parchment paper.
Put another piece of parchment paper down on a cookie sheet.
Then lay out the cookies about ½ inch apart.
Bake at 300℉ for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies are slightly brown.
Let cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Then move to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
Repeat with the other sheet of cut-out cookies.
Roll out the extra dough to create another batch of cookies.
How To Make White Royal Icing
Mix 4 cups icing sugar, 3 Tablespoons meringue powder and ½ cup of WARM water in a stand mixer on low speed
Once they are combined, increase to medium speed.
Mix for 5 to 8 minutes until the icing forms soft peaks.
How To Make Red Royal Icing
Move half of the white icing into another bowl
Mix a few drops red gel food coloring into white icing a little bit at a time until you get the color you want.
Cover the top of the icing with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
How To Decorate Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
Put the white icing in a piping bag with a #3, #4 or #5 piping tip attached.
Draw diagonal lines about a half inch apart down the length of the candy canes.
Connect the first two diagonal lines by drawing a line across the edge of the cookie. Then fill in the middle to create a white stripe. Use a toothpick or knife to spread the icing around to fill in any gaps.
Leave the next section of the cookie plain (this will be a red stripe).
Then repeat with the following section.
Wait a few hours until the white icing has dried before continuing. Otherwise the red color could bleed.
Put the red icing in a piping bag with a #3, #4 or #5 piping tip attached.
Outline and fill in the plain sections of the cookie with the red icing so that you have alternating red and white stripes.
Covering the cookie sheet with parchment paper prevents the cookies from spreading which helps to keep their shape.
Only bake 1 sheet of cookies at a time since stacking them in the oven will cause uneven heating
Using a knife as a guide when drawing the diagonal lines across the cookies will help to keep them straight.