Peppermint Cookies

A gorgeous plate of red velvet, cream cheese-frosted Peppermint Cookies is exactly what Santa’s hoping for. Leave some of his favorite Christmas cookies out this year, and maybe, just maybe, there will be a little something special under the tree.

Peppermint cookies on a white platter.

Heavenly peppermint flavored red velvet, each one slathered with a rich cream cheese frosting and dusted with crushed candy canes. Every bite is a cool, tingly, chocolate mint sensation. Like a sleigh ride on a winter’s night.

Recipe Ingredients:

Labeled ingredients in various bowls for Peppermint cookies.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Red food coloring: Red food coloring comes in liquids, gels, and powders. The red coloring adds visual appeal but not flavor or function. So if you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to. You could also try 1 tablespoon beet powder in place of the food coloring for a slight red hue.
  • White vinegar: A little extra acid helps the baking powder do its job, but it also interacts with the cocoa powder and helps brighten the color of the cookies. No vinegar? Use lemon juice.
  • Peppermint candies: Candy canes are festive if you can find them. If not, the round Starlight mints are available year-round.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Beat the sugar and butter together on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture thoroughly after each egg. Add the vanilla, food coloring, vinegar, and peppermint extract. Add the flour mixture gradually, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl to incorporate everything.
    A bowl of peppermint cookie dough.
  2. With a cookie scoop (OXO cookie scoop, size 40 portioner, or one heaping tablespoon at a time) roll out the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Then place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet at least 2 inches apart—for approximately 12 cookies per baking sheet.
    Peppermint cookie dough balls raw on a baking sheet.
  3. Finally, bake the cookies at 350 degrees until the edges are golden brown, about 10 to 14 minutes. Once you take them out of the oven, let them cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wore rack to cool completely. (They have to be completely cool when you frost them.)
    Peppermint cookies cooling on a baking sheet.
  4. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and softened butter, using the paddle attachment, until super creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
    Cream cheese frosting in a mixing bowl.
  5. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
    Cream cheese frosting in a mixing bowl.
  6. Frost the cookies only when they’re completely cool. Spread a thick layer of the cream cheese frosting over each red velvet cookie, then sprinkle on the crushed peppermint candy.
    Peppermint cookies with cream cheese frosting.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • White chocolate chips: Add some white chocolate chunks to the cookie dough for an extra creamy, chocolatey bite.
  • Peppermint cookie sandwiches: Glue two cookies together with cream cheese frosting. Roll in crushed candy canes. These travel well!
  • Minty cream cheese frosting: Add a few drops of peppermint extract to the cream cheese frosting for an extra cool cookie.

Peppermint cookies on a white platter.

Peppermint cookies on a white platter.

Peppermint Cookies

A gorgeous plate of red velvet, cream cheese-frosted Peppermint Cookies is exactly what Santa’s hoping for. Leave some of his favorite Christmas cookies out this year, and maybe, just maybe, there will be a little something special under the tree.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies
Calories: 171kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons red food coloring (see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar (see note 2)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract or mint extract

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup finely crushed peppermints or candy canes (see note 3)

Instructions

To make the cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment on medium speed, or with an electric hand mixer, beat sugar and butter until fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl as necessary.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in red food coloring, vinegar, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Gradually add the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of bowl as necessary.
  • Working with 1 heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and lay on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. (I use the OXO medium cookie scoop, a size 40 portioner, and do 12 scoops of dough per baking sheet).
  • Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks. Repeat with remaining cookie dough (Yield: about 48 cookies).

To make the frosting:

  • In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment on medium speed, or with an electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 2 to 3 minues. Scrape down the sides of bowl as necessary.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Spread frosting on cooled cookies and sprinkle with crushed peppermint. Store in the refrigerator or store unfrosted cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Video

Notes

  1. Red food coloring: Red food coloring comes in liquids, gels, and powders. The red coloring adds visual appeal but not flavor or function. So if you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to. You could also try 1 tablespoon beet powder in place of the food coloring for a slight red hue.
  2. White vinegar: A little extra acid helps the baking powder do its job, but it also interacts with the cocoa powder and helps brighten the color of the cookies. No vinegar? Use lemon juice.
  3. Peppermint candies: Candy canes are festive if you can find them. If not, the round Starlight mints are available year-round.
  4. White chocolate chips: Add some white chocolate chunks to the cookie dough for an extra creamy, chocolatey bite.
  5. Peppermint cookie sandwiches: Glue two cookies together with cream cheese frosting. Roll in crushed candy canes. These travel well!
  6. Minty cream cheese frosting: Add a few drops of peppermint extract to the cream cheese frosting for an extra cool cookie.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 252IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg
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