Makes:About 4 dozen cookies
Sometimes things you loved when you were a kid don’t live up to your adult standards, but this Betty Crocker classic has busted through the child-adult taste barrier. Make the kids roll these cookies out, and then eat them yourself.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
Granulated sugar, for dusting the cookies
Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Combine the measured flour and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat until light in color and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed to combine (the mixture may look curdled). Turn the mixer off, add the reserved flour mixture, and mix on low speed until the dough just clumps around the paddle.
Divide the dough in half. Leave half in the mixing bowl and transfer the other half to a small bowl. Add the food coloring to one half of the dough and knead with a rubber spatula until the coloring is evenly incorporated.
Lightly flour a work surface. Pull 12 teaspoon-sized pieces from the red dough, then repeat with the uncolored dough. Using the palms of your hands, roll one piece of red dough into a 4-inch-long rope, dusting the work surface with flour as needed. Repeat with a piece of uncolored dough. Place the two ropes side by side and twist them together. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, curving the top of the cookie to form the hook of a candy cane (alternatively, shape into a wreath round). Repeat rolling and twisting with the remaining pieces of dough.
Bake until lightly browned on the bottom, about 9 minutes. Immediately transfer to a wire rack, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and cool completely. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with the remaining dough.