Category Archives: candy cane cookies

A Christ-Centered Christmas – Shepherd and Sheep

Today I thought I’d tie in two nativity characters discussed in A Christ-Centered Christmas, the shepherd and the sheep.  After the shepherds heard the news of Jesus’ birth, they told others and spread the glorious news.  This can be likened to us sharing our testimonies with others.  One fun activity we like to do is make Candy Cane Cookies.

They may not be perfect and they may not look like Martha Stewart made them, but we always have fun as a family and they taste delicious.

The figure of the sheep in the nativity represents a true follower of Christ.  Prior to reading this book, I hadn’t ever really thought much about Simeon or Anna in relation to the Christmas story.  However, I discovered a couple things that incorporate them in with the traditional nativity.  One is an advent calendar from Chocolate on my Cranium.  I also found a beautiful video clip of Simeon and the Christ Child in the temple.

Younger children may not understand the significance of the tender mercies for Simeon and Anna in finally seeing the Christ Child after sharing their testimonies of his divinity.  For them, you could do a fun craft that was part of our 12 Days of Christmas last year.

 We started with a simple cloud shaped outline on a piece of paper, then glued cotton balls over the shape, even adding a second layer, if desired.  Add small strips of paper for legs and small beads for the eyes.

I encourage you to spend a few minutes pondering the meaning of the shepherd and the sheep this year.  Maybe you’d like to incorporate these activities in your celebrations.

Cooking lesson: Candy Cane Cookies

I shared this recipe as a guest post at Bella Before and After a few days ago.  Let me know if you try them!

Today I’m sharing one of my family’s favorite Christmas recipes.  This is a recipe I grew up making every year and now I make these cookies with my children.

Candy Cane Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red food color
crushed peppermint candy
1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar

 Cream together the butter and shortening.  Add powdered sugar.  Mix in egg and flavorings.  Beat well.

Blend in flour and salt.

Divide dough in half.

Blend food color into one half.

To make cookies, take one tsp of each color dough.

Roll each into a 4-inch rope by rolling carefully back and forth on lightly floured surface..

Place ropes side by side and press together lightly.  Twist.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and curve top to form the candy cane shape.

Recruit some helpers to make the assembly go quicker since each cookie has to be formed separately.

Bake about 8 minutes at 375 until very light brown and set.
Crush peppermint candy.  Mix with granulated sugar.

Remove hot cookies from sheet and gently roll or sprinkle with sugar mixture.  Place on waxed paper to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies if you can keep the dough-eating monsters away. 🙂
These can be time consuming to make, but the kids have fun making them and they always get “oohs and aahs” when served.

Linking up:

One Artsy Mama