Candy Cane Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. liquid red food coloring
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy canes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
semi-sweet chocolate chips or dipping chocolate, melted (opt.)

Cream together butter and powdered sugar. Mix in egg, peppermint extract, salt, and baking powder. Add flour. (If dough is too stiff add 1 Tbl. milk.) Divide dough into two equal parts an add red food coloring to one part. Knead in coloring until dough is bright red.

Take a tsp. of the red dough and roll into a snake-like rope about 6 inches long. Make another rope the same way out of the white cough. Place the two ropes next to each other. Twist the ropes together and shape to resemble a candy cane. Pinch ends together.

Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. (Make each complete cookie one at a time so dough will not sit and dry out then be hard to twist together.) Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 min. or until bottoms are lightly browned.

Combine the crushed peppermint candy canes and the granulated sugar. Immediately after removing from oven, sprinkle each hot cookie with this mixture. Another option is to omit the candy cane/sugar mix and dip the lower 1/3 of the straight edge of the candy cane cookie into melted chocolate and set on wax paper to cool. Cookies can also be drizzled with melted chocolate if desired.