A chewy chocolate cookie topped with fluffy peppermint frosting--not to mention the crushed candy canes and chocolate drizzle--make these cookies a refreshing and addictive Christmas cookie. This is definitely one recipe that you need to try this holiday season!
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What are chocolate peppermint cookies?
These treats are made up of a plain, chewy chocolate cookie and a layer of peppermint icing. They are finished off with a sprinkle of crushed candy canes and a drizzle of dark chocolate. What could be better?
How do you store them?
They keep at room temperature for up to 7 days, and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Keeping them in an airtight container or metal tin is the best way to keep them fresh. Just remember that it's best to keep these treats in their own container, as other cookies tend to absorb the strong flavor and smell of peppermint.
Packaging for Gifts
Your friends and neighbors would be so happy to receive some of these sweets at a Christmas cookie exchange! Simply store them away in a festive Christmas tin, and you're all set.
Can you freeze them?
Yes, you can freeze them before or after they are decorated. I like to freeze them once they're fully decorated, since you can pull one out for a snack anytime. Whether plain or decorated, they should keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To freeze, just seal them in a freezer zip-top plastic bag or airtight container. Do not put any other kinds of cookies in the bag, or they will pick up the peppermint odor. Defrost them at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before eating.
How to Make
These treats are made up of a few components: a chewy chocolate cookie, fluffy peppermint frosting, and a topping of crushed candy canes and drizzled chocolate.
Let's start by making the cookies. Gather the ingredients; you'll need all-purpose flour, sugar, unsalted butter, an egg, dark chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and salt.
Melt the dark chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until it is fully melted, then let it cool as you begin to mix up the batter.
Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula, then pour in the melted chocolate, the egg, and a couple spoonfuls of flour and mix until blended.
Add the rest of the flour and mix until a smooth dough forms.
Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Keep the dough balls about 2 inches apart, as they will be flattened.
Butter the base of a flat-bottomed glass, then dip it into granulated sugar. Press down each cookie with the sugared glass, dipping it into the sugar after flattening each cookie.
Bake each tray at 375 F for 6-8 minutes apiece, until the edges are set. Let them cool completely on wire racks.
Now that the cookies are baked, let's make that peppermint frosting. You'll need powdered sugar, unsalted butter, heavy whipping cream, peppermint extract, and red food coloring.
Beat the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy.
Sift in the powdered sugar. Don't skip the sifting, as the frosting will be lumpy if you do.
Mix in the sugar until smooth.
Add the peppermint extract to taste, and some heavy cream to make the frosting a spreadable consistency. Tint the frosting a pretty pink with a few drops of red food coloring.
Spread the peppermint frosting on each cookie, leaving some of the cookie showing around the edges.
For the topping, you'll need more dark chocolate chips, candy canes, and coconut oil. You can use round peppermints, full sized candy canes, or mini candy canes--whatever you have on hand.
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil over a saucepan of simmering water like you did earlier, then take it off the pan and let it cool for 15 minutes. Then, pour the melted mixture into the corner of a plastic sandwich bag and twist the top to create a mini piping bag.
Put the candy canes in a sandwich bag and crush them with a rolling pin or meat mallet until small, but not powdery.
Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top.
Snip the corner off of the piping bag and drizzle the chocolate on top of each cookie. Let it set for 15 minutes before enjoying.
- Press down the cookies with a glass dipped in sugar. Otherwise, the cookie dough will stick to the glass.
- Is the icing too thick or too thin? Add more cream to thin the icing, or more powdered sugar to thicken it.
- Taste the peppermint icing to make sure that it has the right balance of sugar and peppermint to your tastebuds.
- Don't have 4 regular-sized candy canes? Use 12 round peppermint candies or 12 mini candy canes instead.
- Is the crushed peppermint sticking to your fingers? Dip your fingers in powdered sugar to reduce the stickiness.
- Want to make these ahead? Freeze the decorated treats in a freezer zip-top bag for up to 3 months.
- Silicone Spatulas: this set of Wilton spatulas is one of my all-time favorite baking tools.
- Handheld Electric Mixer: no need for a fancy Kitchenaid! This mixer makes perfect fluffy frostings.
- Mesh Strainers: using these stainless steel sieves for sifting powdered sugar is a breeze!
- Angled Spatulas: these handy tools make spreading frosting SO quick and easy.
- McCormick Peppermint Extract: definitely a must-have for an awesome minty flavor.
Other Christmas Cookies
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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
For the Chocolate Cookies
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips, melted
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar, for flattening cookies
For the Peppermint Frosting
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- A few drops of red food coloring
- 4 regular-sized candy canes, crushed
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil
Making the Chocolate Cookies (40 min + 20 min baking)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two 11x17-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Pour the chocolate chips into a shallow heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Make sure that the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted, then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the sugar, vanilla, and salt, scraping down the sides for an even mix.
- Dump in the melted chocolate, egg, and 2 tablespoons of the flour and beat well. Add the remaining flour and mix on medium-low speed until well combined.
- Drop the mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing each cookie two inches apart.
- Butter the base of a flat-bottomed glass and dip it into granulated sugar. Flatten the balls of dough with the glass, dipping it into the sugar after each cookie.
- Bake each tray individually at 375 F for 6-8 minutes, until the cookies are set around the edges. Let them cool on the tray for 1 minute, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Making the Peppermint Frosting (15 min)
- While they are cooling, beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix until well combined, scraping down the sides and base of the bowl for an even mix.
- Add the peppermint extract and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and mix until combined. Gradually add more cream until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
- Beat in the red food coloring a drop at a time until the desired shade of pink is reached. Beat the frosting on medium-high speed until fluffy.
Decorating (25 min + 15 min setting)
- Put the candy canes in a zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are fairly small, but not powdered.
- Spread a layer of peppermint frosting on each cookie, making sure to leave some cookie showing around the edges. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint over each one.
- Melt the remaining chocolate and coconut oil together in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, as you did for the cookies. Set the chocolate aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once the chocolate has cooled, spoon it into the corner of a sandwich bag, twist the top, and snip off the corner to create a little piping bag.
- Drizzle the chocolate in a random pattern over each cookie, then let the chocolate set for about 15 minutes. Serve.
- Press down the dough with a glass dipped in sugar to reduce the dough sticking to the glass.
- Icing the wrong consistency? Add more cream to thin the icing, or more powdered sugar to thicken it. Be sure to taste it and add more peppermint extract to taste.
- Don't have regular-sized candy canes? Use 12 round peppermint candies or 12 mini candy canes instead.
- Crushed peppermint sticking to your fingers? Dip your fingers in powdered sugar to reduce the stickiness.
- Make ahead? Freeze the decorated cookies in a freezer zip-top bag for up to 3 months.
This recipe was originally published on November 15, 2017.