Peppermint Sugar Cookies

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The Softest and most CHEWY Peppermint Sugar Cookies with a Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting. Via chelseasmessyapron.com

Soft and chewy Peppermint Sugar Cookies with a creamy peppermint-flavored frosting and crushed peppermint candy on top are the perfect Christmas cookie!

 

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

These soft, chewy, peppermint-studded cookies are one of our favorite Christmas treats. The base cookie has crushed peppermint in the dough, the frosting is flavored with peppermint extract, and the tops are sprinkled with more crushed peppermint candy. These cookies are a peppermint lover’s dream.

Although there is a lot of peppermint in these cookies, it’s not overwhelming. They’re sweet and rich with a balanced flavor. The cream cheese in the frosting helps balance the sweetness of the cookie.

As far as texture goes, these are not cake-like or dense cookies; they’re supremely chewy with crisp edges and a delicious soft center that practically melts in your mouth! While there is some chilling required and a few additional steps (more than your standard chewy chocolate chip cookie), the extra effort is certainly worth it for these Peppermint Sugar Cookies — they’ll be the hit of any holiday party!

Process shots-- images of the wet ingredients being mixed together and the dry ingredients being added on top of wet

Let’s talk Peppermint

  • Peppermint Crunch Sprinkles® or Candy Cane Crunch® make outstanding cookie toppings. We add crushed peppermint to the cookie base and to top the cookies off. I like using Wilton’s® peppermint crunch sprinkles best, but if you can’t find the sprinkles, use crushed up candy canes instead (see below).
  • Candy canes or hard peppermint candies can work in a pinch. In place of store-bought crushed candy canes, you can use full candy canes or peppermints. To crush peppermint candies for these Peppermint Sugar Cookies, I’ve found the easiest way is with a mini food processor. I like this one in particular. A small powerful blender also works. (See quick tip below if you don’t have either.) 

QUICK TIP

No food processor or blender? No problem. Add the unwrapped peppermint candies to a large plastic bag (or two; peppermint candy has a tendency to rip through plastic bags as it is crushed, so double bagging is a smart idea), seal the bag without air in it, and then crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet until fine crumbs are formed

Besides the peppermint in the dough and on top of the cookies, we flavor the cookie dough and frosting with peppermint extract. Make sure to use peppermint extract, not mint extract. The mint flavor will make these Peppermint Sugar Cookies taste like toothpaste! 

The actual strength of the peppermint extract will also depend on the brand (some are more potent than others), so be sure to taste and adjust to personal preference, adding more for a stronger peppermint flavor. I use McCormick’s® peppermint extract in these cookies.

Process shots: make the frosting by combining softened cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth; add extracts, salt and powdered sugar; beat until smooth then add to the peppermint sugar cookies

Peppermint Sugar Cookies Tips

  • Start with melted and cooled butter. If hot butter is added to the white sugar, the sugar will melt and cause greasy cookies. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature before using. Why melt it in the first place? Melting the butter ensures a chewier, fudgier cookie. Melting the butter is my “secret” to the best cookie texture. And now it’s your secret, too!
  • Measure the flour accurately. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour, you will pack in way too much flour (which will result in cake-like cookies with poor texture). To accurately measure the flour, spoon it into the measuring cup until it’s overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. You’ll have a perfect flour measurement!
  • Chill the dough. Why? The dough becomes more flavorful as it sits, the butter needs a chance to re-solidify from being melted (which will limit the spread of these cookies), and the sugar in the dough needs time to absorb the liquid (which further prevents spreading). While it is an extra step, these cookies do not turn out as well if they’re not chilled.

Baking Tips for Peppermint Sugar Cookies

  • Roll tall cookie dough balls. Instead of rolling a perfectly round ball, I’ve found if you roll the dough so it’s taller and skinnier when the cookies bake, you’ll get that perfectly thick and chewy center AND the crisp edges. Using this technique, the bottom of the cookie ball bakes first, which pushes out and becomes the crisp edge. The top of that tall cookie dough ball then becomes the thick and chewy center. Perfect texture every time!

Storing Peppermint Sugar Cookies 

Instead of freezing the baked cookies, freeze the dough! Drop the cookie dough balls on a large sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to an airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. (Cream cheese frosting doesn’t freeze and thaw well, so I recommend making that fresh.)

To bake: You can bake Peppermint Sugar Cookies straight from the freezer. There is no need to thaw, but you may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, and the center is still soft. 

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Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookies

4.78 from 9 votes
Soft and chewy Peppermint Sugar Cookies with a creamy peppermint-flavored frosting and crushed peppermint candy on top are the perfect Christmas cookie!
Print Recipe

Soft Peppermint Sugar Cookies

4.78 from 9 votes
Soft and chewy Peppermint Sugar Cookies with a creamy peppermint-flavored frosting and crushed peppermint candy on top are the perfect Christmas cookie!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword peppermint sugar cookies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 41 minutes
Servings 26 -28 cookies
Calories 398kcal
Cost $4.62

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup; 227g) unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (232g) white, granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk (discard or save the white for another use)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup peppermint crunch sprinkles (See Note 1)
  • 3 cups (405g) all-purpose white flour (See Note 2)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Optional Sugar Coating

  • 1/4 cup (49g) white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) white sparkling sugar (or additional white sugar)

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package (8 oz.; 226g) full-fat cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup; 113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (385g) powdered sugar
  • Additional crushed peppermint for topping cookies

Instructions

  • OPTIONAL SUGAR COATING: Stir the white sugar and white sparkling sugar together in a small bowl (optional but gives the cookie a nice crunchy exterior and additional sweetness).
  • WET INGREDIENTS: Place the melted butter in a large bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding sugar. (If the butter is hot it will melt the sugar and cause greasy cookies.) Add in the white sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and incorporated, about 3-4 minutes. Add in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Stir until smooth.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: Add the peppermint crunch sprinkles, flour, salt, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda to the wet ingredients. Mix until JUST combined. Do not overmix the dough.
  • CHILL: Roll tall balls of dough, each using a full 2 tablespoons of dough. If you have a kitchen scale, the balls of dough should be about 43 grams. Roll the balls of dough generously in the white sugar/white sparkling sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate the dough balls for 1 hour, and up to 8 hours.
  • BAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place dough balls on a parchment or silicone-lined sheet pan, spread far apart (I only bake 6 cookies at a time; they spread a lot), and bake for 9-14 minutes. Watch carefully, being sure to not over bake. (Slightly underbaked sugar cookies are the best! I pull them out at 11-12 minutes.) Remove and immediately press the edges of the cookie towards the center with the back of a spoon or metal spatula. Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack with a spatula.
  • FROSTING: Prepare the frosting while the cookies bake. In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese until completely smooth. Add in the vanilla, peppermint extract, and salt. Beat to combine. Add in the powdered sugar and then beat until the frosting is smooth (it will seem like you need more liquid, but just keep beating; it will come together!)
  • FROST COOKIES: Frost each completely cooled cookie and sprinkle with crushed peppermint. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge. Cookies are best enjoyed within 2-3 days.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: I use Peppermint Crunch Sprinkles® or Candy Cane Crunch®. If you can't find the sprinkles, use crushed up candy canes (blend in a blender or pulse in a food processor).
Note 2: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour and scoop, you will pack in way too much flour, resulting in the wrong texture of cookie. To accurately measure the flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until its overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. (Visual here).

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    AWESOME recipe, Chelsea, can’t wait to bake some of these! BUT…annot figure out where to click to download the printables!
    Please explain & thanks!

    1. I hope you love these! Directly below the recipe in big blue letters it says: Download the FREE Sugar Cookie Kit Printables (click that to print them! Enjoy 🙂

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