You know that saying: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover? Well, I’d like to meet the puritan who came up with that one to have a word or two. Because we’re going to judge a book by it cover even if we don’t want to! As a book publishing graduate, I study the cover: It tells me the market the publisher is going for. It tells me if it’s won any awards, it tells me what other prominent authors think of the text. A cover is important.

And I also decide to make cookies based on their appearance, obviously. Especially during the holidays. So I flagged this recipe on Pinterest because I loved the vibrant Christmas colours. And we eat, first, with our eyes.

But. And this is a big BUT. This recipe turned out to be a bit of a fail. To begin with, I used a peanut butter cookie recipe I was using to make another cookie when that cookie started to fall apart and I had a whole batch of peanut butter cookie dough just sitting and starting at me.

When I pulled the out of the oven to cool, however, they started falling a bit flat.

Maybe this recipe was destined to fail because I’m just not a big fan of chocolate and mint. Or mint in desserts at all. I said a tiny prayer and made these anyway, hoping the candy cane and peanut butter flavour would go well together. Despite my prayer, I wasn’t a convert and I’m still not a believer in the peanut-butter-and-candy-cane union.

Yet a couple of people who tried them raved about the pairing. So what do I know? Maybe it’s an acquired taste. Maybe I would have liked these better if I alternated the cookies and used red and green sanding sugar.

Substitutions: Where do I start? I used a peanut butter base. Don’t do that. Follow this recipe instead. When I ran out of sanding sugar, I whizzed my granulated sugar with a few drops of my high-quality food colouring. The granulated sugar did a much better job of sticking to, and coloring these cookies than the already-red sanding sugar did.  I’d take the extra minute and do the same. It’s also a lot cheaper and will save you a trip to the bulk food store.

Would I make these again? Nope.

Grade: Two stars out of five. Do you really want me to go into why, again? I’m getting depressed just thinking about it. (I was worried that I was losing my baking mojo this month but I just made a kick-ass Buche de Noel and I have thrown that thought right out of my mind).