Peppermint butter cookies are delicious little bites of crumbly, minty, perfectly sweet goodness, perfect for Christmas or any time of year.
Are you busy with Christmas baking yet? If not, let me get you started. If so, let me add to your list. (Sorry. But only a little.)
One of my goals in life is never to create a recipe that tastes like toothpaste. So when I set out to create a peppermint butter cookie I knew I had to be careful.
A lot of R & D goes into this whole food blogging thing—even more than I imagined before I got started. How much peppermint extract is too much? What happens if I add crushed peppermint candies to the dough itself? (To answer: very little; and they’ll taste good but the texture will be off.)
This recipe is the result of many trials and I have to say, all the time I put into making a perfect peppermint butter cookie was worth the end result. I ADORE these cookies.
It starts with a buttery and crumbly cookie, very similar to a shortbread, with the exact right non-toothpaste-reminiscent level of mint.
Then you top those delicious butter cookies with a white chocolate and peppermint glaze, dyed pink—or green! Or any color you want. Then, if you’re so inclined, you drizzle a little dark chocolate over all of that and top everything with some crushed up peppermint candies.
You end up with a cookie that tastes like a candy cane dipped in chocolate floating on a cloud of rainbow-colored dreams. Or something like that.
The chocolate and candy cane part is accurate; the rest might just be me.
And these really are the perfect addition to a Christmas cookie tray, and they’d be adorable bagged up and given as gifts by themselves. Or keep them to enjoy after dinner with coffee. You can’t go wrong because butter cookies are SO RIGHT.
The recipe calls for superfine sugar, which you can make at home with granulated sugar buzzed up in a food processor. That’s what I did because I completely forgot to pick up the superfine stuff at the store. The food processor version works just fine.
Have a lovely week! I hope cookies will be a part of it, at least in some form.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 16 pieces, cool but not cold**
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 ounces white chocolate, melted
- 2-3 tablespoons milk, lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- red food coloring (optional)
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, melted
- 8 peppermint hard candies, crushed
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds. With mixer still on low, add butter 1 piece at a time and mix until the dough looks very crumbly. Add the vanilla, peppermint, and cream cheese and mix on low until the dough forms large clumps. Knead the dough by hand in the bowl until it forms a cohesive mass.
- Divide the dough in half and form each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until the dough is firm. (You can keep the disks in the fridge up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place one of the disks between 2 large sheets of parchment paper and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on prepared baking sheets 1 1/2 inches apart. Gather scraps and reroll, then refrigerate cut-out cookies for 10 minutes. Repeat with the second disk.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are light golden brown. Cool cookies to room temperature before glazing.
- Combine the white chocolate, 2 tablespoons of milk, butter, and peppermint extract in a medium bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into the mixture, then whisk until no lumps remain. Stir in food coloring, if using. Thin with more milk if necessary. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of glaze onto each cookie and spread with the back of a spoon.
- Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is smooth. Place in a zip-top plastic bag and snip off one of the bottom corners. Drizzle over each cookie. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies over the top. Serve and enjoy.
- *If you don’t have superfine sugar you can put regular granulated sugar in a food processor and process for about 30 seconds.
- **To get the butter to the right temperature, remove it from the fridge 30 minutes before using it.