Soft sugar cookies studded with peppermint pieces and topped with peppermint buttercream and crushed candy canes are perfect for cookie trays and Santa treats.
These are one of the most requested cookies in my holiday collection. This impressive little holiday treat is really super simple to make.
You can ice them and cover with peppermint sprinkles, or you can serve them plain. Either way, they are perfect when served with hot chocolate or coffee!
You’ll need 1 cup of softened butter [salted], 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, and 1/4 cup of crushed candy canes* [about 3 regular sized candy canes].
Butter can be substituted using margarine or butter-flavored shortening.
Peppermint extract can be omitted.
Candy canes can be substituted with hard round peppermint candies. You’ll need about 9 hard peppermints for the cookies and 9 more for the optional sprinkles.
Preheat your oven to 400⁰F and prepare cookie sheets by spraying with baking spray or covering with parchment paper.
If you don’t prepare your cookie sheets, you need to get the cookies off of the cookie sheet within a minute of removing from the oven or the candy cane pieces on the bottom of the cookies will harden onto the cookie sheet. It will look like a Pinterest fail.
Combine the butter and sugar and beat for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and mix until well combined then mix in the peppermint extract.
With the mixer running, sprinkle in the baking powder and baking soda and mix well.
Turn off the mixer and add the flour, turn the mixer back on low so the flour doesn’t fly everywhere. Mix just until the flour has been incorporated. Overmixing cookie dough makes your cookies tough.
Add the crushed candy canes and mix just until evenly mixed in.
Scoop the cookies out into 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon portions onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Roll the dough into balls and using a glass or the bottom of a measuring cup that has been dipped into flour to press the cookies down slightly to form circles. Keep the cookie rounds about 1 inch apart.
Place the cookies into the preheated oven and bake for 9 to 10 minutes. As soon as the bottoms begin to turn a light brown, they are done.
Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool before icing.
Icing for these cookies is optional. I have had people tell me they love them iced, and others that tell me they are a little too sweet with icing and sprinkles. I usually make half and half.
To make the icing you’ll need 2 tablespoons of softened butter, ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 2 to 4 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream.
Combine everything except 2 tablespoons of milk.
If the icing isn’t thin enough for spreading, add more milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the icing is spreadable.
Top with peppermint sprinkles before the icing starts to set.
Commercially made peppermint sprinkles are available during the holidays. You might find it in the holiday baking section called candy cane or peppermint crunch.
You can make your own peppermint sprinkles by crushing candy canes or peppermint candies. This is the cheapest option. Make sure you are using peppermint candy canes, not one of the other flavors.
It’s pretty easy to make your own crushed peppermint. Unwrap the candy canes and place them into a thick plastic bag, remove all of the air and seal the bag. Use a meat mallet or a rolling pin to gently tap on the candy canes in the bag. Continue tapping the candy canes until there are no large pieces left.
Use the crushed peppermint in the cookies and for topping iced cookies.
Leftover crushed peppermint can be saved in an airtight container and used for flavoring hot chocolate.
If you struggle to get the candy cane wrappers off, I find it’s easy to do if I break the wrapped candy cane at the top of the hook and start from the torn portion of the wrapper.
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- 2 tablespoon salted butter softened
- 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream 2 additional tablespoons may be required
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup crushed peppermint optional
- Preheat an oven to 400⁰F.
- Prepare cookie sheets by spraying with baking spray or covering with parchment paper.
- Combine the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and mix until well combined.
- Add the peppermint extract and mix.
- With the mixer running, sprinkle in the baking powder and baking soda and mix until combined.
- Turn off the mixer and add the flour and mix just until the flour has been incorporated.
- Add the crushed candy canes and mix just until evenly mixed in.
- Scoop the cookies out into 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon portions onto the prepared cookie sheets at least 1 inch apart. Roll the dough into balls and using a glass or the bottom of a measuring cup that has been dipped into flour to press the cookies down slightly to form circles.
- Place the cookies into the preheated oven and bake for 9 to 10 minutes. As soon as the bottoms begin to turn a light brown, they are done.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool before icing.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of milk.
- Combine remaining ingredients and beat until combined. If icing is too thick, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well between additions until icing is spreadable.
- Spread icing over cooled cookies and sprinkle with crushed peppermint if using.