These lovely Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies are very much like a chocolate lace cookie, light and fragile. They shatter when you bite into them and are a perfect addition to your holiday baking list. I made mine gluten-free which may make them more delicate than those made with regular wheat flour. These cookies are best on the day they are baked, but are also good the second day, just a bit softer and chewier after they have absorbed some moisture from the frosting and the atmosphere.
I have a new favorite Christmas cookie and am truly addicted to them. I even had trouble limiting my nibbling and was risking not having enough to photograph, LOL! The delicately flavored peppermint frosting highlights the rich, deep chocolate flavor of the cookies. I added crushed peppermint candies to the top for a festive look. I used the product from King Arthur Flour, but you can buy regular peppermint candies and crush/grind them yourself.
My house smells like Christmas, full of the aromas of baking cookies and candy canes. It is cold outside and I am so grateful to have a warm, dry home. The Artist and I are watching football while I cook and bake. Life is good!
If you are making these at other times of the year you can replace the peppermint flavoring with vanilla, rum, bourbon, orange, or any other flavor you like.
Today is Secret Recipe Club day and have I got a wonderful blog to introduce you to! I was given Daily Dish Recipes created and written by the delightful Nicole Cook. When I started looking through her recipes searching for the one that I would share with all of you, I bookmarked a ton to come back and make later. Nicole is extremely talented and you are going to LOVE her blog!
Nicole and I share the desire to help people get back in the kitchen, cooking from scratch, and discovering the fun that cooking and baking can be. As a mother of five, you can imagine how creative she is in finding ways to feed her wonderful family. I was especially impressed with her Holiday and Seasonal recipe selection. She has some truly amazing and creative recipes that will have me busy for months to come.
The way you mix this cookie dough is very different from the norm. Usually you cream the butter and sugar together before adding in the dry ingredients. In these cookies the sugar is part of the dry ingredients and gets beaten in after you’ve combined all the liquid ingredients. I loved the way they turned out.
I made up a frosting that is a cross between a cream cheese frosting and a buttercream frosting. I love the slight tanginess that the cream cheese adds, cutting back significantly on the sweetness. This allows the peppermint to shine and blend beautifully with the chocolate cookie. If you want a sweeter topping you can replace the cream cheese with more butter and increase the sugar to suit your tastes.
I hope you enjoy today’s recipe, head over to Nicole’s blog for a fun romp through her recipes, and have a good time visiting all the other Secret Recipe Club’s postings.
Happy Chocolate Monday everyone!!
Key Ingredients for Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies:
- All-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend and almond meal
- Baking soda, baking powder, and salt
- Sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, and cocoa powder
- Cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, peppermint extract
If your butter was as cold as mine was (it’s been super chilly here the past week and even room temperature butter was firmer than normal), you can cut it into cubes or grate it to make it easier to beat into the dough.
How to make Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies:
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar
- Beat the butter with the egg; beat in the flour mixture, then mix in the cocoa powder until no streaks remain
- Form dough into balls and press with the bottom of a glass
- Bake about 8 to 10 minutes at 350°F. leave on the baking sheet a few minutes to firm up then transfer to a wire rack to cool
- Beat the cream cheese with the butter the mix in the confectioners’ sugar and peppermint extract, beating until smooth and creamy
- Frost the cookies, sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies and set aside to let the frosting firm up
Because they are so delicate, these are not the best choice for shipping. If you do, make sure you use a lot of bubble wrap or popcorn between each layer of cookies and individually wrap them in plastic for even more strength.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Stand mixer
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper sheets
- Ice cream scoop
- Offset spatula
Use a certified gluten-free flour blend of your own or commercial blend such as Bob Red Mill’s 1-to-1 or King Arthur
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour or 1 cup gluten-free flour blend plus 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1 tsp baking soda (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or pure extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (gluten-free if needed)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened but still cool
- 4 oz (1 stick) butter, slightly softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp peppermint extract, to your taste
- Crushed peppermint candies, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats.
- Make the Cookies: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & sugar. Whisk until blended; set aside.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer, place the butter. On low speed, beat the butter until smooth and then add the egg and mix well. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stop the mixer, add the cocoa powder and then beat well until there are no more white streaks.
- Form balls of batter about 1 teaspoon each, roll into balls between the palms of your hands and place them on the prepared baking sheet. The cookies spread a lot so make sure you leave about 2 to 3 inches between each one. I put nine on each baking sheet. Using a flat-bottomed glass dipped in water, gently press each ball to flatten into round disks.
- Bake cookies one sheet at a time. Bake until cookies have flattened out and tops are starting to firm up, about 8 to 10 minutes, spinning the sheet from front to back halfway through baking. As with all chocolate cookies, watch them carefully so they don’t burn!
- Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. If some of them have spread into each other, use a mini off-set spatula to separate them and gently round the corners again. When firmed up, move cookies to wire racks and cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
- Make the Frosting: In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and slowly turn on the mixer. Add the peppermint extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat until smooth and creamy.
- Frost the Cookies: Use an offset spatula and carefully spread a generous amount of frosting on the top of each cookie. Quickly sprinkle the tops with the peppermint candy pieces and set cookies on a wire rack to let the frosting harden.
- If you are storing these cookies in a tin or cookie jar, separate the layers with a sheet of parchment paper.
Based on a recipe from Daily Dish Recipes
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g
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This post was first shared in Dec 2013. The article was updated in 2020.