Peppermint Stick Cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons mint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 drops red food coloring
12 drops green food coloring
1-1/2 cups white baking chips
Crushed mint candies

PREPARATION
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2. Set aside half the dough. Divide remaining dough in half; add green food coloring to one portion and red food coloring to the other. Wrap dough separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. Divide green and red dough into 24 portions each. Divide plain dough into 48 portions. Roll each into a 4-in. rope. Place each green rope next to a white rope; press together gently and twist. Repeat with red ropes and remaining white ropes. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes before carefully removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

5. In a microwave, melt white chips; stir until smooth. Dip cookie ends into melted chips; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with crushed candies and place on waxed paper. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: 4 dozen.



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