Chocolate and peppermint has got to be one of the best holiday flavor combinations out there. I mean, there are Peppermint Mocha lattes and York Peppermint Patties leftover from Halloween (sorry, kids!) and peppermint hot cocoa at the ready after a day of holiday shopping or playing in the snow (hello, what’s up with the November snow in the northeast this year?!). This time of year brings out the very best in this ultimate holiday combo. And, now we can add these Chocolate Peppermint Cookies to the list of holiday yumminess!
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Chocolate and Peppermint is the Ultimate Holiday Flavor Combo
So, I wasn’t always such a huge fan of chocolate and peppermint. Not so sure why it took me so long to come around, but now I cannot get enough of it. At my annual Holiday Cookie Exchange, I look forward to my friend’s peppermint bark with its layers of contrasting semi-sweet and white chocolate and that refreshing peppermint flavor. It just goes so well together! This year, I decided to take a good ol’ standby recipe for chocolate crackle cookies and introduce the flavor of peppermint via some extract, some Ghiradelli peppermint chocolate chunks and crushed up candy canes (you can even buy candy canes pre-crushed – how awesome of a time saver is that?!). Chocolate + peppermint perfection!
Making the Perfect Chocolate Peppermint Holiday Cookie Recipe
These cookies were inspired by chocolate crackle cookies. I wanted a cookie that was cakey, pepperminty, and had a bit of crunch to it from peppermint candy. Since I had not purchased the pre-crushed candy canes, I crushed my own. I took about 10 full-size candy canes, placed them in the food processor, told everyone to cover their ears, and pulsed them for about 30 seconds until they reached my desired consistency. I like to leave some bigger pieces for texture and visual appeal. The inside of the cookie also has peppermint flavor from the extract (be sure to find peppermint versus spearmint or mint extract so your cookies don’t wind up tasting like toothpaste). You can adjust the amount of peppermint flavor by adding a bit more or less depending on the level of intensity you’re looking for. I found one teaspoon to be just right for my liking. And when combined with the creamy, sweet flavor of the Ghirardelli peppermint chunks, the balance was perfecto!
Make Ahead Option
If you’re like me and you’re running around like a chicken without its head this time of year, you can certainly prepare this dough ahead of time and freeze it then pull it out when you’re ready to bake. After removing it from the freezer, allow it to come up to room temperature, then proceed with rolling into balls and dipping into the crushed candy canes.
Now go forth and holiday it up! These are great for cookie exchanges, gift giving, or nibbling while you’re waiting for Santa to arrive.
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Chocolate and peppermint has got to be one of the best holiday flavor combinations out there. And, now we can add these Chocolate Peppermint Cookies to the list of holiday yumminess!
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (1 ½ ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups packed (10 ½ ounces) brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate bars, chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks
- ½ cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies
- Prepare: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Set aside
- Make cookie dough: In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, and peppermint extract until thoroughly combined; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chopped chocolate and butter. Microwave at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk melted chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined. Fold in flour mixture using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until no dry streaks remain. Stir in peppermint chunks. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Place crushed candy canes in a separate shallow dish. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough and roll between palms into a smooth ball. Lightly dip top of dough ball into crushed candy canes or sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of dough. Transfer dough ball to prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough, being sure to evenly space dough balls on prepared sheets
- Bake: Place cookie sheets into oven, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will seem underdone), about 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cool completely on sheet before serving
- If using a convection oven, bake about 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through
- Dough can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. I would recommend freezing the dough after it’s been scooped. Freeze on a baking tray then place frozen dough in a ziptop bag until ready to bake. Dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. After removing dough from the freezer, allow it to come up to room temperature, then proceed with rolling into balls and topping with crushed candy canes
- Recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated Chocolate Crinkle Cookies recipe
- Category: Holiday Cookies
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Holiday Cookies
Keywords: chocolate peppermint, holiday cookies, best holiday cookie recipe, easy recipe, nut free, chocolate cookie recipe, peppermint extract, Nielsen Massey, cookie exchange, Christmas, Hanukah, holiday recipe, dessert, cookie box
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