I cannot remember the year I first made these almond flavored cookies but I do remember the kitchen. The front of the house, second floor apartment on 2nd Street, above the chiropractor’s (my landlord’s) office, and across the street from the Brodhead Public Library. That gives me a three-year window of Decembers from 1976-1978. The recipe was part of a multi-year Betty Crocker recipe club subscription (think book-of-month club only recipes) where the tangerine orange recipe box and the first 24 recipe cards were the free gift for subscribing and a thematic packet with 24 additional cards arrived each month for the next two years.
These candy cane cookies are my must-bake Christmas treat. If I make nothing else, it will be these. The result is a shaped cookie without the extra steps of frosting and decorating cutouts or requiring the technical skill of applying the perfect pressure necessitated for Spritz cookies. Although I do own a Sawa 2000 Deluxe Swedish cookie press complete with 24 nozzles, circa 1985.
As we gingerly plan for another Covid Christmas, Mom and I have agreed less is acceptable. She baked only two batches of family traditional sweets – Pecan Crisps (a double batch, of course) and Holiday Fruits – instead of the usual six varieties; to be served with her purchase of Rosettes, Pizzelles, and Sandbakkles courtesy of the St. James ethnic bakers. With what is in her cookie jars plus my Candy Canes and a vanilla cheese cake on a chocolate wafer crust topped with cranberry glaze for Christmas Day, our holiday cookie platter should be merry and bright.