Making sweets for the holidays is always fun for your self and for gifts. These checkerboard versions are colorful and sweet. Actually, they’re extra sweet because they are flavored with candy canes. I used traditional peppermint candy canes to make the red and white versions. But, I experimented with using Jolly Rancher flavored candy canes for the green ones. They turned out great! They really add an unexpected extra flavor to the cookies and have already been a hit in my home. To help with cutting these to size, I’ve included a little “cheat sheet” that’ll help you with measuring.

Red & White Peppermint Checkerboard Cookies
makes about 48 cookies


3 cu All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cu Butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 cu Granulated Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 tbl Finely Crushed Candy Cane, number depends on size of candy canes, I used 8 small ones and a food processor
2 tsp Red Food Coloring

Green & white Version
replace the last 2 ingredients with:
2 tbl Crushed Green Candy Canes
2 tsp Green Food coloring


Mix together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Separately, cream together butter and sugar in a stand mixture until just blended and creamy. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to fully incorporate the sugar in butter.

Add in the egg and vanilla and mix for 1 minute until smooth. With mixture on a low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl again and then mix until everything is just combined. Split the dough and half, leaving half in the mixer. Add 2 tablespoons of crushed candy cane and the red food coloring to that half. Mix at medium speed until the color is even throughout.

Form each portion of dough into as perfect of a 6″ square as you can. Place it on a baking sheet or flat plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, cut each piece into nine uniform strips.

Lay 1 piece of red dough on a flat surface, followed by a white and then another red. Stack a second row on top of that one, alternating the colors. Then, add a third row, alternating the colors again. Start a second block of dough by beginning with a strip of white dough. Wrap each block in plastic and press the top and sides together to seal the strips together and make a uniform block with the same height and width. Place the blocks in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ˆF.

Slice of the end of each block to create a uniform surface. Then cut each into 1/4″ pieces, using a ruler if necessary to create uniform pieces. Place cookies on a lined baking sheet (either a baking mat or parchment) and bake for about 9-10 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and immediately sprinkle just a bit of crushed peppermint on top (this is an optional step, you may choose not to do it). Allow cookies to cool and then store them in an air tight container.

For green versions of these cookies, simply replace the red candy canes with green ones and replace the red food coloring with green.

Download a printable version of this recipe:

Download the measured ‘cheat sheet’ here: