1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red-hot candies, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or) 1/2 teaspoon ground candy cane
Red food coloring, optional
2 tablespoons coarse sugar
In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Mix red-hots and cinnamon into one half; tint with food coloring if desired.
Shape 1-1/2 teaspoons plain dough into a 4-1/2-in. rope. Shape 1-1/2 teaspoons red dough into a 4-1/2-in. rope. On an ungreased baking sheet, place ropes side by side; press together lightly and twist. Curve top of each cookie down to form handle of cane.
Repeat with remaining plain and red dough, placing 2 in. apart on baking sheets. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake at 375° for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.