Pictured above: Easy and festive Christmas pecan sandies.

Pictured above: Easy and festive Christmas pecan sandies.

Simple, sweet and very easy to make. Let the kids pick out their favorite candy canes, put them in a plastic bag, give them a rolling pin or heavy pot and tell them to give the candy canes a few whacks. If anyone can destroy something, we all know the kids will do a great job.

1 cup flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine, very soft but not melted

1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided

1/2 cup crushed pecans

1/4 cup finely chopped candied fruit

1/2 teaspoon mint, almond, vanilla or rum extract

1/4 cup water

8-10 finely crushed candy canes

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, butter, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, pecans, fruit and extract together in a large bowl and mix very well. Divide dough into 10 equal sized balls. Roll between the palms of your hands and put on a plate. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until firm and completely cold.

Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet and bake 12-14 minutes, or until they feel firm to the touch. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack or plate to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk remainder of powdered sugar with water; set aside. Roll each Sandie lightly in the powdered sugar water and then in the crushed candy canes. Repeat with remainder of Sandies, allowing to set for 30 minutes before serving.

— Chef Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef and an authority on New England food and its history. He is a respected food columnist from Maine and is marrie d with four children. You can email questions or comments to [email protected] and visit theyankeechef. blogspot.com.

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