Canes And Crooks

Canes and crooks for Christmas

A choirmaster wanted to keep a bunch of wiggly kids quiet during Christmas church services. The kids couldn’t sit still during the living creche celebrations in the Cologne Cathedral in 1670.  So, the choirmaster persuaded a local candy maker to make their traditional white candy sticks into a shepherd’s crook. He handed them to the kids to keep them quiet during the Christmas ceremonies. I wonder how he felt about those sticky fingers. Nonetheless, the candy cane became a hit. And that’s the origin of the candy cane for Christmas — a sweet confection in the shape of a shepherd’s crook — used to snag sheep when they strayed. 

The meanings of canes and crooks

 A cane, or a crook was used by shepherds in herding their sheep. It was also carried by the ancient Pharaohs of Egypt. The crook and flail were two symbols of God and often shown with the Egyptian God, Osiris. It symbolized the Godly attributes of Pharaoh to shepherd and lead his people.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd and is often associated with this symbol — now a Christmas symbol when made with confectioners sugar — the candy cane.

Here’s a Christmas cookie activity for the whole family. These cookies are easy and fun to make. Even the littlest hands can participate. Set them out for  Santa, or share them with friends and family.

candy cane cookie recipe

Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

Candy Cane Cookies
Cuisine: Christmas cookies
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon red food coloring
  1. Mix butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg yolks and vanilla, mix.
  3. Add flour and mix dough until smooth.
  4. Divide dough in half, leave one half in the mixer.
  5. Add red food coloring to half of the dough and mix thoroughly, using mixer.
  6. Chill dough for 30 to 60 mins.
  7. Take a small ball of red dough and roll into a snake, about 4 to 5 inches long. Take a small ball of white dough and roll into a snake. Lay the two next to each other and twist them. Shape into a cane.
  8. Place on a cookies sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and crushed candy canes (optional).
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 8- 10 minutes.

candy cane cookies

  • MDBS

    Always really interesting your posts!
    And now Happy Xmas!

  • LeAnn Williams

    Thanks for sharing this one and I am going to share it with others.
    Blessings for a learning moment and for sharing.

    • deila

      Thanks LeAnn — I always enjoy finding the source of things. Glad you liked it.