Recipes and Reads: How candy canes and mystery books go together…

A good cozy mystery is a great read this time of year. But have you heard of culinary mysteries? It’s a sub-genre we are getting super excited about!

Josi Kilpack shares her book series, with titles like, Key Lime Pie and The Candy Cane Caper. Plus, a tasty Christmas treat!

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Candy Cane Crinkles


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vanilla chips
  • 10 full-sized candy canes, unwrapped and crushed (about 2/3 cup)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.*

Combine sugar and butter, and mix with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and eggs. Mix until combined, scraping down sides as needed. Add salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour, vanilla chips, and crushed candy canes (powder and all).

Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Scoop 1 tablespoon or use a 1-inch scoop of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in powdered sugar until coated. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until bottoms are barely brown and cookies look matte.

Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Makes approximately 4-dozen 1-inch scoop cookies.

*The candy cane pieces will melt, which is why you need parchment paper or a silicone mat. If neither of those is available, simply grease the pan before baking and cross your fingers.

Note: You can crush candy canes in a food processor, just don’t turn them to dust. You want the pieces to be smaller than a pea, but still chunky. You can also crush them by hand by double-bagging zip-top bags and using a hammer or rolling pin to achieve the right texture.

Note: Lemon-flavored baking chips are just as yummy!

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