With the perfect chocolate-to-peppermint ratio, a cascade of white Peppermint Frosting, and pops of red thanks to crushed candy canes, Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are just what you need to spread a little extra holiday cheer this season.
Rich, chewy, and delightfully festive, you’ll find both the dough and frosting a cinch to whip up.
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PEPPERMINT COOKIES FOR HOLIDAY GIFTING
Come this holiday season, spreading joy should be at the top of our lists. Homemade gifts baked with love are a timeless and heartfelt way to do this. If you want a recipe that’s as delicious as it is festive, one that’s guaranteed to bring a warm smile to any recipient’s face, these Peppermint Cookies are for you.
CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT COOKIE INGREDIENTS
DRY INGREDIENTS | THE ESSENTIALS
To kick off your Chocolate Peppermint Cookies, you’ll need to have all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt on hand. Use only all-purpose flour for this recipe, and be sure not to confuse baking powder with baking soda. And last, but certainly not least, fine sea salt provides balance and brings out all those decadently delicious flavors.
Eggs play so many roles when it comes to baked goods, aiding in both the structure and the richness of the dough, but that’s not all. The way the eggs are incorporated into this batter ensures a beautiful, perfectly shaped, thick cookie you can’t help but bite into!
For a chocolate cookie with rich fudgy vibes, we called for not one, but two types of chocolate to create an unapologetically chocolate base. This recipe calls for both unsweetened cocoa powder and melted semi-sweet chocolate chips. If you’d like your cookies to be a little less on the sweet side, feel free to sub in dark chocolate chips.
“Unsalted” is the keyword when it comes to butter for these cookies. If you were to use salted butter, the end product would be far too salty. Remember, unsalted butter packaging is typically blue, while salted butter often comes in red packaging. Note, the butter is divided for this recipe, and you will it for both the cookies and the peppermint frosting. The butter will be added to the cookie dough melted, but it is imperative that your butter is at room temperature to make a smooth and creamy Peppermint Frosting!
For your Peppermint Cookies, you’ll need two types of sugar — one for the cookie base itself and the other for the frosting. Granulated sugar is used for the base of the cookies, while the powdered sugar helps to make up a dreamy, creamy peppermint frosting.
ADDING FLAVOR TO PEPPERMINT COOKIES
As strange as it may sound, you shouldn’t bake with chocolate unless you’re also baking with vanilla. Chocolate Cookies without vanilla extract would be one-dimensional and lackluster in flavor, and you’ll find vanilla extract provides a harmonious balance to the big chocolate flavor of these cookies.
We used Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract. They are a family-owned company renowned for their premium vanillas, and their product is the creme de la creme in the world of vanillas thanks to hand-selected vanilla beans and the process of proprietary cold extraction. This allows for the natural essence of the vanilla to shine through, giving your baked goods a fuller, more well-rounded flavor profile.
Peppermint extract puts the peppermint in both the cookie base and the Peppermint Frosting! However, be wary of cheap imitation peppermint extracts that can leave your cookies tasting pungent and overpowered. Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract is made from mint grown under the strictest quality standards. It’s derived from all-natural ingredients, and you’ll find it lends the perfect minty essence to your Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.
You’ll find both extracts used in this recipe, as well as Pure Almond Extract, in the Nielsen-Massey Holiday Flavors Bundle, the perfect gift for your favorite home baker or to use in your very cabinet year-round! It is available on Amazon in 2- and 4-ounce sizes. Order by December 20 to receive by Christmas Eve! Keep your eye out for special holiday promotions throughout November and December. Starting November 18th, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is offering 25% off their 2 oz. Holiday Bundle. Hurry! This offer is available for a limited time.
PEPPERMINT COOKIE TOPPINGS
You can use either round peppermint candies or candy canes to top off your Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. If you can find peppermints made with all-natural ingredients, bonus! To crush the candies, simply unwrap them, place them in a plastic bag, remove all of the excess air and seal. Then, using either a rolling pin or a mallet, smash the candies until broken up to your liking.
HOW TO MAKE PEPPERMINT COOKIES
Mix the Dry Ingredients – In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt. Then, set the bowl aside until ready to use.
Melt Chocolate and Butter – As mentioned above, these Chocolate Peppermint Cookies get a double dose of chocolate. To complete their chocolatey transformation, add the butter and the chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30-second increments, stirring after each stint. Set aside the melty mixture and start working on your eggs and sugar.
Mix Eggs and Sugar – Mixing the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy is a technique we borrowed from our Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and it results in a perfectly chewy, thick cookie that retains its shape while baking. With the eggs and sugar, you’ll also add in your peppermint and vanilla extract. You’ll know you’re ready to move on to the next step when the mixture has become a very pale yellow and almost doubled in volume.
Add the Melted Butter and Chocolate – Next, stream in the melted butter and chocolate and mix on low to combine.
Add the Dry Ingredients – To finish your Chocolate Peppermint Cookie dough, the last thing you’ll do is add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
Scoop and Bake – Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough on to the cookie sheet, spacing each dough ball about 1 1/2-2″ apart, and press down slightly to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes at 375°F and set aside to cool on the pan.
HOW TO MAKE PEPPERMINT FROSTING FOR COOKIES
Using your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer), combine the butter and powdered sugar. Remember, it is extremely important that your butter is at room temperature when making Peppermint Frosting! Mix until the butter and sugar are well-combined and fluffy. Then, add the salt, Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract and Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and mix once more.
Once your Chocolate Peppermint Cookies have completely cooled, add a generous spoonful of Peppermint Frosting to the top of each cookie and spread it to the edges using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies and serve!
These cookies are especially perfect for getting into the holiday spirit. You can bring family and friends together this year by baking up a batch of Peppermint Cookies, line up your favorite Christmas movies and have yourselves a merry little Christmas movie marathon! Whether you’re watching holiday movies, hosting a holiday meal or baking up a frenzy of holiday food gifts, check out NielsenMassey.com for inspiration, and follow along via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter for more recipes!
If you’re looking for more incredible holiday cookies to add to your baking lineup, Nielsen-Massey is your holiday baking ally, kicking off their first official #BaketoShare campaign this year, designed to help family and friends share special moments through the act of baking!
5 MORE SWEET FOOD GIFTS YOU’LL LOVE
- Homemade Peppermint Bark doesn’t get much easier or more beautiful than this! Featuring foolproof tips for perfect two-toned Chocolate Peppermint Bark.
- Peppermint Brownies are a brownie everyone can love with a holiday twist! The perfect medium between cake-like brownies and the rich and fudgy type, equipped with an extra special peppermint white chocolate topping.
- Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies not only make for a decadent snack, they are the all-time, ultimate homemade gift for the peanut butter lover!
- Red Velvet Cookies are a thick, soft, cake-like cookie, with a light cocoa flavor and a hint of tang thanks to cream cheese swirling throughout the batter.
- Christmas Cookies with Icing are a classic holiday treat featuring homemade sugar cookies and an easy buttercream frosting!
- 1 3/4 cup (218.75 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1/2 cup (90 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/4 cup (250 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Bourbon Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract
- 1 cup (227 g) room temperature unsalted butter
- 2 2/3 cup (320 g) powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract
- 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Bourbon Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup (226 g) crushed peppermint candies or candy canes preferably made with all-natural ingredients
Preheat the oven to 375°F and have ready a cookie sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside until ready to use.
Add the butter and chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 30-second increments, stirring after each stint in the microwave until melted. Set aside.
Add the granulated sugar, eggs, peppermint and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer. Mix on medium-high speed, until the mixture has lightened in color and almost doubled in volume. This should take at least 3 minutes.
Stream in the melted butter and chocolate and mix on low to combine.
Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of the cookie dough on to the cookie sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2-2" apart, and press down slightly to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool on the pan.
In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and powdered sugar. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer. Begin mixing on low speed, until most of the powdered sugar is mixed in, then increase the speed to medium-high. Mix until well-combined and fluffy.
Add the salt and Nielsen-Massey extracts, and mix once more.
Once the cookies have completely cooled, add a spoonful of icing to the top of each one and spread across the top using an offset spatula. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies, serve and enjoy!