I love the way these peppermint chocolate cookies look – and how they taste. They’re perfect for the holidays. Some links in this post are affiliate links the earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
I absolutely love the flavor of peppermint. When the holidays start to roll around, I buy up candy canes and then dream up ways to use them.
So yes, you will see me drinking homemade peppermint lattes not infrequently. I make peppermint bark with all my leftover melted chocolate from any truffles I whip up, and of course there’s my candy cane brookies.
I love how they’re soft and so delicious, but I wanted to change them up this year to make them even more fudgy. And I wanted a little ganache on top to anchor a pretty candy cane sprinkle.
That’s where these peppermint chocolate cookies came from, and oooo my daughter especially fell in love. When I had to make a cookie to bring to this month’s PTO meeting, I turned to these, and the women pretty much emptied my plate. Score!
The cookies are so soft and lightly chewy, and the peppermint extract in the dough gives the perfect essence of peppermint to complement the candy canes on top. The flavors work together, and nothing overpowers any other part.
If you don’t want to make the ganache, you could just drizzle melted chocolate on top of the cookies and press in the candy canes. Honestly though, ganache means you heat up a little bit of cream and pour it over chocolate. Let it sit for a couple minutes and stir.
It’s easier than melting chocolate because you don’t have to constantly check the chocolate to see if it melted and then worry if you burned it. Plus is sounds fancy and looks amazing, so why not go for it?
Need more Christmas cookie ideas? Check the bottom of this article for more of my favorites.
Peppermint chocolate cookie tips
Use quality chocolate. I talked about this in my truffle making tips article, and it holds true here, too. Good quality chocolate flat out tastes better, and it melts smoothly. Leave the grocery store chocolate chips for your other cookies.
Don’t panic when you make the dough. To start, you melt butter and chocolate, then incorporate the other ingredients. No surprise, it’s thinner than what you expect from cookie dough. It’s more like a thick brownie batter. Don’t add more flour; you did it right.
Along those lines, when I say you want to chill your dough for a couple hours, make sure you chill it. This lets the butter and chocolate solidify just a bit. When you bake the cookies, they hold their beautiful shape and stay soft and delicious.
You don’t need to chill it until the dough is freezing cold. As long as the dough solidifies, you can start making your cookies. In fact, if you plan to refrigerate it longer than a couple hours, I definitely recommend you cover it with a damp towel so the dough doesn’t dry out.
Use a cookie scoop. When the dough comes out of the fridge, it’s thick. The cookie scoop lets you not only make sure your cookies are all the same size, but it also scoops more easily than a spoon, which saves you time and frustration.
You can make the dough ahead of time. In fact, I almost made the dough, refrigerated it, and rolled out my cookies and then stopped after baking the dozen and a half or so I needed for the PTO meeting. You can scoop the cookies then place them in a zip top bag in the freezer and pull them out to bake a few at a time!
These cookies have no leavening agents other than the eggs, so they don’t puff up a ton and spread. When you bake them, you can put them closer together than you can many other cookies. I wouldn’t do more than 16 (4 by 4) or 20 (4 by 5) on a single jelly roll pan, but this lets you get your cookies baked in two rounds rather than three!
I played with these cookies a lot, and I figured out that they aren’t fussy. If you use the cookie scoop, you want to roll them a little to give them a nice shape. If you don’t roll them, the edges get tough, but you don’t have to make them perfect.
I experimented with flattening the peppermint chocolate cookies and leaving the dough in balls and… it really doesn’t make much of a difference. In that case, go with the easy way and roll them just a bit so they’re pretty round and be done.
How to Make Peppermint Chocolate Cookies
Make the dough
In a small heavy pot, melt your butter and chopped chocolate over medium low heat. Make sure to stir the butter and chocolate periodically so it doesn’t burn.
As soon as the butter is mostly melted, remove it from the heat. The residual heat will melt the chocolate and butter the rest of the way.
In a mixing bowl, add the sugars, espresso, peppermint extract, and eggs. Beat them at high speed to incorporate air.
]I don’t have instant espresso powder, so I always just brew extra strength espresso and let it cool to room temperature. Why espresso? It brings out the chocolate flavor, so it goes in all my chocolate recipes to give that deeper, richer taste. If you don’t have any, sub in the same amount of vanilla instead.
Pour in the melted chocolate and butter, which will not be hot because you used lower heat to melt it and took it off the heat before it totally melted. Mix again to incorporate.
Add salt, cocoa powder, and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Remember, the dough will feel more like a batter.
Refrigerate peppermint chocolate cookies dough for two hours. To keep the dough from drying out, cover the bowl with a damp cloth.
Bake the cookies
Once the dough firms up, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Once you have them all scooped, gently roll each into a ball. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the cookie tops form cracks.
Once the last batch of peppermint chocolate cookies is in the oven, gently heat cream in the same pot you used to melt the chocolate and butter – one less dirty dish! As soon as the cream starts to steam and tiny bubbles form at the very edge, remove it from the heat and add the chopped chocolate.
Let the heat from the cream melt the chocolate for two minutes, then stir until it comes together. Set it aside until the cookies finish baking.
Crush the candy canes. You won’t use all the candy cane you crush, so save any extra to top your next hot chocolate or use it to make peppermint bark. You definitely need more than one candy cane, but two is overkill.
Add a dollop of the ganache to the top of each cookie and gently swirl it a bit to spread it out. Sprinkle crushed candy cane over the ganache, and let harden.
The peppermint chocolate cookies store well in a tightly sealed container on your counter for up to three days.
What do you like best about peppermint chocolate cookies?
Make sure to chill the dough. When you first finish mixing it, it looks more like brownie batter. Once you chill it, it firms up and you can scoop and bake it then. Don't skip that step! As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
For the cookies
For the top
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 148 Total Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 43mg Carbohydrates: 19g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 13g Protein: 2g
Make sure to chill the dough. When you first finish mixing it, it looks more like brownie batter. Once you chill it, it firms up and you can scoop and bake it then. Don't skip that step!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
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