double-chocolate peppermint crunch cookies
These chocolate peppermint cookies are the ultimate Christmas cookie! Fudgy dark chocolate cookies are topped with creamy white chocolate buttercream frosting, peppermint crunch sprinkles and sparkling sugar so every bite is soft, sweet and ultra-chocolaty with a hint of minty crunch. If you like peppermint bark, you will love these cookies.
Double-Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies = My New Favorite Christmas Cookie
In a world where there are endless options of Christmas cookies, one stands out among them for me: These double-chocolate peppermint crunch cookies. Call me biased, but if you asked me to choose only one cookie to make and eat this holiday season, I would choose these delightful treats again and again. Here’s why:
- The cookie itself is a soft, slightly chewy, exceedingly fudgy dark chocolate cookie made with Dutch-process cocoa. I could eat the cookie base alone and be happy for the rest of my days.
- The white chocolate buttercream frosting is simple yet indulgent. It’s decadently creamy, lightly flavored with melted white chocolate and perfectly paired with its dark chocolate cookie base.
- The peppermint crunch topping is the finishing touch these cookies need. Because of it, every bite is delicately minty with a hint of crunchy texture.
If that doesn’t convince you to drop everything and make these cookies this Christmas, I don’t know what will.
Of course, as much as I pine for these particular cookies, I am not saying you shouldn’t make other cookies this holiday season — Lord knows that if a cookie is placed in front of me, Imma eat it. I’m just saying that if you’re finding these wintry days to be more full of chaos than Christmas cheer, but you still really want (need?) a cookie, these peppermint bark-inspired treats are easy and delicious (and Santa-approved, IMHO).
How to Make Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
These delightful cookies all start with the darkest chocolate cookie base. I went with a Dutch cocoa cookie inspired by and adapted from Heather of The Toasty Kitchen, and I am so glad I did. These cookies are packed with rich chocolate flavor, crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, and EASY.
You might be wondering why the recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa (and if you’re a baking nerd like moi, you’ll be extra-curious as to why I used it when baking powder is not involved). As I mention in my Devil’s Food Cake recipe, Dutch-process cocoa powder is cocoa powder processed with alkali, a potassium solution that neutralizes its acidity (it also renders a richer, deeper chocolate flavor). Therefore, you need to use baking powder to function as the acid component in the recipe to leaven a baked good.
HOWEVER — for these cookies, we’re not going for rise. Rather, we want these cookies to have that rich chocolate flavor, but also be flat enough to decorate with frosting and sprinkles (duh). So for these cookies, we skip the baking powder but keep the Dutch-process cocoa for the darkest cocoa flavor and color possible — and let me tell you, it’s worth it (see Recipe Notes below for my favorite brands).
Once the cookies are baked and cooled, we top them with a smooth white chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s the simplest frosting ever, really — just cream together butter and sugar, add in melted white chocolate and whip until fluffy and light. Spread it on the tops of your cookies with an offset spatula and top with perhaps the most important ingredient: Peppermint crunch!
I found peppermint crunch already crushed and ready to decorate at Target (bless), but if you can’t find it or don’t have a Target near you, you can easily crush your own peppermint candies or candy canes by placing them (unwrapped) in a sealed plastic bag and hitting them a few times with a rolling pin or meat mallet.
Tips for the Best-Ever Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Before I leave you to go bake up some Christmas cheer, here are a few tips to consider!
- I highly recommend using a cookie scoop to shape the cookie dough into equal-size balls. See Recipe Notes below for my go-to size scoop!
- You can refrigerate the dough anywhere between 1 hour and 24 hours to allow the flavors to meld and the dough to firm up enough so that it’s easy to scoop and doesn’t spread too much in the oven.
- The sparkling sugar topping is optional, but I love to add a sprinkle or two to the tops of my cookies for extra crunch, sweetness and, well, sparkle. To me, it makes these cookies 100x more festive than they already are.
- If you’re a big fan of peppermint, you can swap up to 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla extract in the cookie recipe for peppermint extract for more minty flavor.
If you’ve been on the hunt for the Christmas cookie worth your time, I’m making the strong case that you’ve found it right here.Print
These soft dark chocolate cookies are topped with a white chocolate buttercream frosting, peppermint crunch pieces and sparkling sugar. This is the ultimate Christmas cookie!
For the dark chocolate cookies:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 Dutch-process cocoa powder*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the white chocolate buttercream frosting:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
- 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
For the topping:
- Peppermint crunch sprinkles or crushed peppermint candies/candy canes
- Sparkling sugar (optional)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- First, make the cookies: In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on high speed 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Beat on high speed for another 3 minutes.
- In a separate large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until just combined.
- Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap (or, shape dough into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap). Refrigerate at least 1 hour, but no longer than 24 hours.
- Remove dough from refrigerator; let sit 5 minutes, then use a cookie scoop or a spoon to roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (1 1/2 tablespoons each). Place dough balls on prepared cookie sheet spaced 2 inches apart (you’ll have to bake in batches, so refrigerate extra dough while cookies are baking). Press down dough balls to flatten slightly.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of cookies are dry and tops begin to crack. Remove cookies from oven; press down with back of a cookie spatula to flatten tops of cookies. Cool cookies 5 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Next, make the frosting: In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar on high speed 4 to 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Gradually beat in melted chocolate on medium speed until just combined. Beat in remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar on high speed 1 to 2 minutes or until frosting is fluffy and smooth.
- Finally, decorate the cookies: Use an offset spatula to frost each cookie with approximately 1 tablespoon frosting. Top with peppermint crunch and sparkling sugar as desired. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
*It’s important to use Dutch-process cocoa powder in the cookies for that rich, deeply chocolaty flavor and color. Here is my favorite Dutch-process cocoa powder, though Hershey’s Special Dark works great, too.
Keywords: white chocolate buttercream frosting, peppermint crunch, Dutch cocoa cookies, dark chocolate cookies
But you want to bake alllll the Christmas cookies? Here are more to make: