Sweet and Spicy Seasoned Crackers.
The easiest Salted Butter Candy Cane Bagels…yes, double the salt and a little extra butter. A mix between a soft, buttery, salty pretzel and a slightly chewy bagel. They’re airy, perfectly salted, and every last bite is oh so buttery…the best of both worlds. These bagels are simple, made using only pantry staple ingredients, fun to make, and of course, extra festive too! The perfect addition to your Christmas Eve and or Christmas Day dinners!
Happy day before Christmas Eve!! This is one of the most exciting days of the year. The days leading up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day always feel so special. Everyone is getting every last thing in order and getting ready to slow down and spend time with family and friends come Christmas Eve. This year it’s just our immediate family and we’re minus a brother and a wife (Bren & Lyns, you guys are really going to be missed). So it’s a slightly smaller crew than usual, but we’re all feeling thankful to be able to spend the holiday together.
I love having my brothers and cousins (pretty much siblings) home and all together. There’s nothing greater than family. They’re always bringing a smile to my face and helping to bring my type A personality down a notch. With them, there’s never any stress, just fun times with the family, filled with plenty of good food.
And I really try to do up the food and make everyone’s favorite recipes, which lucky for me, don’t usually tend to be overly complicated. We all like things pretty simple and we love our traditions.
And these bagels? They’re a Christmas Eve dinner tradition that’s been going strong now since I was in middle school. Everyone loves a Candy Cane Bagel and it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without them.
I actually shared this recipe back in 2012, but oh my gosh, that was a long while ago, so I wanted to give you all a shiny new recipe with pretty photos and much clearer directions.
And I’m excited, these bagels are my favorite…my mom and Asher’s also. And now that I think about it, every single brother too (well, maybe not Oslo). Oh, and my dad as well…and yup, my cousins too…the whole gang. As I said, these bagels are very much loved over here.
Before we moved to Colorado my mom would buy Einstein Bagels every week, stock the freezer full of bagels, and they’d be breakfast every day for my brothers and me. We all love a good bagel. During Christmas, Einstein’s used to sell Holiday Candy Cane Bagels. Maybe they still do?
My mom would order a whole three dozen for her annual Christmas Eve party and they were always gone within minutes. They’d come warm, and covered in way too much butter and salt…which made them every bit as delicious and addicting as they sound. Not to mention adorable and so festive!
They were a hit every single year, I mean how could they not be? Bagels, butter, salt, and shaped into candy canes? Absolutely nothing not to love.
When we moved to Colorado, the closest Einstein’s was in Denver. Much too far to order Candy Cane Bagels for Christmas Eve. So the second year we lived here, I made my own and I’ve done it every year since then. Got to keep those traditions alive and well!
If you’ve never made bagels, I know they can be intimidating, but the truth is, they’re really pretty simple. Especially with this recipe. What’s really awesome is that these bagels require no fancy ingredients. Just water, yeast, honey, flour, salt, and butter… lots of butter and salt.
That’s it. And if you have a kitchen with anything stocked in it, then you most likely have these ingredients on hand. I will say that using pretzel salt can elevate your bagels just a smidge. But of course, you can also use a good Kosher salt or flaky sea salt. They’re all simply salt, just different sizes, so any type works!
Start by mixing the dough. Once it’s mixed, you’ll divide it in half and add red food coloring to one half, then let both sets of dough rise. This takes anywhere from one to two hours, it just depends on how warm your kitchen is. Once the dough has doubled in size, shape the Candy Canes. Meaning, roll the dough into ropes, twist them together, then easily curve each twist at the top to create a candy cane.
The trickiest part about bagels is the boiling process, which actually isn’t tricky at all. Simply drop the bagels into the boiling water, a couple at a time, and boil until they float. Boiling the bagels before baking gives them that chew factor, and that classic “bagel” taste. Pretzels are cooked in the same way.
You might need to reshape the bagels into candy canes after boiling, but this is very easy to do.
Brush each bagel with a beaten egg. This will give them a nice crust.
Then the next step is KEY. Bake the bagels, but about halfway through cooking, remove them from the oven. Brush each bagel generously with melted butter, and then sprinkle the salt. That’s the salty component, and honestly? It’s the best part.
Return the bagels to the oven and minutes later you’ll have hot, buttery, salty Candy Cane Bagels all ready to be eaten. And yes, your kitchen will smell better than your local bagel shop, trust me. Hints of butter, soft bread baking…somehow you can almost smell the salt in the air.
It’s a wonderful thing that’s perfectly fitting for the most wonderful time of year.
And then, if garlic butter is your thing, I recommend adding some. This is optional, but OH SO GOOD, and extra special for Christmas. Golden browned butter with caramelized garlic. And when drizzle over each candy cane? Delicious. I’m talking eat all the bread before you even look at dinner, kind of delicious. Dramatic, but true.
These bagels disappear quickly. If you want to have leftovers to freeze, I’d recommend doubling the recipe. Make a dozen for this week and a dozen to serve next week for New Years’!
And lastly, these are insanely delicious right out of the oven served warm with that garlic butter. Or…try a smear of cream cheese for breakfast. But over here the way we REALLY love them most…served with our Christmas Eve dinner. Yep, you guys should definitely give them a try.
So what do you all think? Candy Cane bagels for Christmas!?
Please say yes! And to help entice you even more, I’m making them on Instagram tonight to give you the full how-to!!
Looking for other easy Christmas bread recipes? Here are my favorites:
Pull-Apart Garlic Butter Bread Wreath
Easier Extra Flaky Homemade Crescent Rolls
Pull Apart Parmesan Sage Butter Brioche Rolls
Lastly, if you make these Salted Butter Candy Cane Bagels, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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I normally love HBH and it’s my go to when I want to make something fun/delicious, but these did not work out for me 🙁 Before placing in the oven I was so excited and proud of how cute these looked, but they came out very dark (even at the lower end of the baking time range) and were not fully cooked in the middle. I’m not sure where I went wrong, maybe I didn’t boil long enough? Either way I just wanted to suggest others do a test bake to find the right time/temp.
Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, so sorry they did not turn out for you! How long did you boil for? Were any of your ingredients possibly expired? Let me know how I can help! xT
I love your recipes, but these were a huge failure for me. The dough was very sticky despite adding more flour than stated. They weren’t burnt but turned pretty brown and swollen after baking. And they tasted like baking soda. Yours are beautiful though!!
Sorry to hear this recipe did not turn out for you. What kind of yeast did you use? Did the dough rise correctly? Let me know how I can help! xx
OMG TIEGS! These were absolutely magical. I thank you to eternity. They have restored by hope in making bread!
Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!?? xTieghan