Candy Cane Memories


credit: Me and My Green Bin

Growing up in the early 1960s, and being a kind of girly-girl, I do remember I liked my food pink. And sugary. When standing in line with my mom at Acme Supermarket, the impulse buy of choice near the cash register was those awful (to me now) pink marshmallow cookies with white coconut sprinkles. This was before red dye #2 was banned.

vintage mom & me

My mother, Shirley, and me in her state-of-the-art kitchen, 1957.

But at Christmas time, we made cookies. Mom did like to bake, if not actually cook. (Hey, it was the Atomic Age, and she had better things to do, like paint!) One of my favorites from that era was candy cane cookies. We had to divide the dough, and color one half. Then keep it moist until we twisted the braids together and curved them into the cane hook. Some baking, and voila! This was a cookie that actually tasted as good as it looked, as opposed to sand tarts. For all the glitter and sprinkles I shook onto them, they were always a letdown to me after they came off the sheet.

I no longer bake anything remotely like the candy cane cookie, since I have gotten much healthier in my eating habits. But a recent call for baking memories from one of my favorite blogs, A Hundred Years Ago, got me thinking about these cookies, and I realize that they probably still influence me today, in my art, if not my baking.

Happy Holidays to all!

Let it Snow! -card

I want to credit a fellow blogger for her contribution to the candy cane cookie. I shared her photo of the original recipe. Read her post for more on this classic!

12 thoughts on “Candy Cane Memories

  1. I’m glad I got you thinking about the Candy Cane cookies. They look like they they’d be so much fun for a mother and daughter to make. I love the picture of you and your mother. The expressions that the two of you have on your faces are priceless. And, wow, the drawing of the woman in the candy cane skirt wonderfully concludes the post. I continue to be awed by your art.

  2. Reblogged this on A Hundred Years Ago and commented:
    Friday, December 11, 1914 <>
    Readers participating in Grandma’s Bake-a-thon have shared many wonderful memories. We are giving Grandma a great send-off to live the rest of her life after the diary ends.

    Today I’d like to share the awesome post that Sharon at Dirndl Skirt did about her memories of baking Candy Cane Cookies with her mother.

    One of the things that I most enjoy about Dirndl Skirt is how Sharon infuses her art and artist’s perspective into many posts. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to see her awesome holiday drawing of a woman wearing a candy cane skirt.

  3. I love that picture of you and your mother in the kitchen! Those have to be metal cabinets. My great aunt had them in her kitchen and if I could find some vintage ones I would make H install them for me. Was I supposed to be focusing on cookies here? They look yummy too!

    • Thanks, Elle! Yes, they are metal, state of the art for that era. When we moved, I think our cabinets were that kind of wood/colonial look with the black hinges. Now I have simulated old-timey simple cabinets with bubble glass to see my collection of glassware, forever morphing (breaking).

  4. I enjoyed reading your post and your photos sure bring back the memories. I’m glad that Sheryl linked to your candy cane cookies 🙂

    • Thanks, CT, and I have to thank my mom for passing the photo archival gene to me. I am glad Sheryl linked, too; she is generous and has such a loyal following. She and I are both Central PA girls of the same era.

  5. Fun blog. And I still have an apron that looks an awful lot like the one in the picture. My best friend made it for me — the style of the time, and very practical — especially the handiness of the pockets.

    p.s I love sand tarts — don’t eat cookies any more, though. Don’t need all that sugar.

  6. If you want to bake ’em, I’ll gladly eat ’em. And your mother’s way cool kitchen looks like a bright, sparkly version of my then-retro kitchen that was in the 1950s 3-storey-walkup I lived in for a chunk of the 90s. Minus the gingham drapes.

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