Our Peppermint Cookies have a candy cane crunch! Top them with peppermint buttercream and crushed candy canes, or turn them into whoopie pies!
If there’s one flavor that brings Christmas to mind, it is peppermint! I have friends who love candy canes so much they stock up during the holidays so that they have enough to last the whole year.
These peppermint cookies are a delicious combination of chewy and crunchy, sweet and minty. Not only do they taste amazing, but they also look pretty on a cookie platter!
How To Make Peppermint Cookies
Step One: Cream The Sugars
For cookie recipes, I like to use a combination of butter and shortening. The butter adds flavor, and the shortening helps the cookies rise higher and have a lighter texture.
After mixing the butter and shortening together, cream in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. As you beat the mixture, the batter will become lighter in color and fluffier in texture.
Creaming the butter and sugar adds air to the mixture, making the cookies lighter in texture.
Step Three: Egg and Flavoring
Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract for 1-2 minutes.
The egg adds additional leavening as well as moisture, flavor, and structure. The vanilla is for flavor, so I recommend using pure vanilla extract. Beating the egg into the creamed butter and sugar will add more air to the cookie dough.
Step Four: Dry Ingredients
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl before adding it to the cookie dough.
Step Five: Flavor and Color
To give these peppermint cookies a little peppermint flavor and a crunchy texture, add crushed candy canes!
Adding food coloring is optional but makes the cookies prettier, and the white frosting contrasts nicely with the pink cookies. I like to use gel paste because it is more concentrated, so you need less.
If the peppermint cookie dough isn’t dark enough after mixing in the food coloring, just add a little more and mix until combined.
Step Seven: Dough Balls
Use a #40 dough scoop (about two tablespoons) to scoop the cookie dough. Using a dough scoop makes evenly sized cookies, which helps them bake evenly, and they fit into storage containers better when they are the same size.
Step Eight: Bake
Another tip is to cover your baking sheets with parchment paper. The parchment paper prevents the cookies from sticking to the pan, and there is less scrubbing when you are done baking.
Once the cookies are finished cooking, you can slide the whole piece of parchment paper, with the cookies on top, onto the counter to cool.
Before using the baking sheet for the next batch of cookies, allow the baking sheet to cool. Starting with the pan at the same temperature for each batch makes for evenly baked cookies.
Frosted Peppermint Cookies
We love adding buttercream frosting to these peppermint cookies with crushed candy canes. Spread peppermint buttercream over the cookies and sprinkle them with crushed candy canes.
Peppermint Whoopie Pie
You can also turn these peppermint crunch cookies into whoopie pies! Spread the frosting onto the bottom of one cookie and top it with another cookie, sandwiching the frosting between them. Gently squeeze the cookies to squish the frosting out to the edges of the cookies.
Then, put sprinkles in a bowl and roll the edge of a peppermint sandwich cookie in the sprinkles so that they can stick to the frosting. You could also use crushed candy canes instead of sprinkles.
Freezing Peppermint Cookies
Cookie Dough: Prepare the cookie dough, put the cookie dough balls on a parchment-lined pan, and put them in the freezer. Once they are firm, move them to a plastic gallon-sized freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to a month. When ready to bake, place them on a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes.
Peppermint Cookies: Put the cooled cookies into a freezer-safe storage bag or container. Store in the freezer for up to four weeks.
Frosted Peppermint Cookies: Place the frosted cookies on a pan and put them in the freezer until the frosting has hardened. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe storage container with parchment between the layers. Store in the freezer for up to a month.
Peppermint Sandwich Cookies: Put the prepared sandwich cookies in a freezer-safe container with parchment paper between the layers. Store them in the freezer for up to four weeks.
More Recipes With Candy Canes
- These Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookie Cups have a candy cane handle and mini marshmallows on top.
- This Chocolate Peppermint Layer Cake is easy to make but looks impressive!
- Homemade Peppermint Patties simply melt in your mouth.
- Peppermint Brownies have a layer of buttercream with smooth chocolate on top!
Peppermint Cookies Recipe
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- ¼ cup shortening
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 ½ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour spoon into the measuring cups and level with the back of a knife
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup crushed candy canes
- ½ teaspoon red gel paste food coloring add more as needed
- 2 tablespoons crushed candy canes
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Use a mixer to combine the butter and shortening.
- Add the granulated sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract for 1-2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Stir in the crushed candy canes and red gel paste food coloring.
- Use a #40 dough scoop (about two tablespoons) to scoop balls of cookie dough onto a parchment-covered baking sheet with at least two inches between cookie dough balls.
- Bake at 350˚F for 8-10 minutes.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, allowing the baking sheets to cool between batches.
- Allow the cookies to cool. Then, frost with peppermint buttercream frosting and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
Fluffy Peppermint Buttercream
- Beat the softened butter and shortening until smooth.
- Add the marshmallow cream and beat well.
- Slowly mix in half of the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time.
- Mix in the peppermint extract, vanilla extract and milk.
- Slowly mix in the remaining half of the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time.
- Beat the buttercream until smooth.
Peppermint Whoopie PieSpread frosting on the bottom of one cookie and top it with another cookie, sandwiching the frosting between them. Add sprinkles (or crushed candy canes) to the visible frosting.
StorageStore cooled cookies (including ones with frosting) in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to four weeks. Layer frosted cookies with parchment paper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can stir peppermint extract into store-bought vanilla frosting.
Yes. I like to use candy canes because there is more red in them than in starlight mints, but both work in the recipe.
Yes! If you want to add something instead, try sprinkles, white chocolate chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips.