Sparkling Chocolate Peppermint Cookies: Rolled in sugar to create a beautiful sparkle, these chocolate peppermint cookies are also dipped in white chocolate and crushed candy canes to round out the most delicious show-stopper of a Christmas cookie!
In perfect procrastinator fashion, I’m here to kick off the holiday baking season with these cookies a week into December, days after I had originally planned to share them with you. Sigh.
The good thing is, I couldn’t be more excited about them!
They’re sparkling chocolate peppermint cookies!! Yes, another mouthful of a recipe name from me but I feel the heft of the name is completely justified for these cookies.
We just got our first snowfall of the season this past week – and the first decent snow we’ve had since early 2018! – and I feel like shouting from the rooftops with excitement!
I mean, it’s December and we have SNOW and PEPPERMINT COOKIES! It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas, you guys! Cue all the holiday tunes!
OK, I think that’s enough with the !!!, don’t you think?
These chocolate peppermint cookies though. You NEED them on your holiday baking list. I haven’t actually made my list yet this year but these cookies made it to last year’s baking list and I loved them so much then that I remade them again a few weeks ago.
I wanted to squeeze them in before my Thanksgiving prep started which wasn’t too difficult to do since I already knew this was an outrageously excellent cookie recipe.
At the base of this chocolate peppermint cookies recipe is a phenomenal soft chocolate sugar cookie. It’s not a chocolate cookie like these fudgy chocolate crinkle cookies or these crispy chocolate wafer cookies.
How to Make White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
As fancy as these cookies look, they’re actually really really easy to make! Let me break these white chocolate dipped peppermint cookies down for you.
The base cookie is a chocolate sugar cookie recipe that I added a little peppermint extract to. It’s juuuust enough peppermint to let you know it’s there.
Peppermint extract can easily ruin a cookie because of how strong it is so I went easy on it and used ¼ teaspoon to flavor the whole batch of cookie dough.
Once I made the cookie dough, I rolled the dough into balls and then rolled the balls in white sugar. This is what gives them the sparkling effect!
After they baked and cooled, I crushed up some candy canes and melted some white chocolate for dipping time!
How to Melt White Chocolate
To melt the white chocolate for these cookies, I added 12 ounces of finely chopped white chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl along with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. You’ll want to use white chocolate from a block or bar, white chocolate bark, or white chocolate candy melts for this step.
White chocolate chips DO NOT melt well! Trust me here.
I added the coconut oil to the white chocolate because it helps the chocolate to melt smoother and set better when the chocolate dries. I always always add a little coconut oil when I melt any kind of chocolate for dipping!
Heat the chocolate in the microwave on high power for 30 second bursts, stirring after each burst, until the chocolate is just about completely melted. Then stir the last bit of chocolate chunks in for a few seconds until they melt down.
Finishing the Cookies
After the white chocolate is ready, you’ll dip a third of each cookie into the chocolate and then roll the wet chocolate in the crushed candy canes. You could dip half of each cookie if you wanted to, but I found that one-third made for a more visually appealing effect.
Set the dipped and peppermint-ed cookies on some parchment paper to allow the chocolate to dry before stacking the white chocolate dipped peppermint cookies in a tin or container.
How to Store White Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Cookies
You’ll want to store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Those cookie tins you save to use each Christmas work great.
Years ago, I bought a bunch of large Rubbermaid food storage tubs that I only bring out for my Christmas cookies. They seal really well and are large enough to hold BIG batches of cookies!
These peppermint cookies will last for about 3-4 days at room temperature before they start to get a little stale.
How to Freeze Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Not surprisingly, the dough for these cookies keeps really well in the freezer! I always feel it’s super important to do as much cookie prep well in advance of when you need the cookies because, hey! Life happens! Your kids get sick. You dog eats chocolate from the counter. You get stuck in traffic.
Whatever it may be, prepping and freezing your dough in advance will make it a complete breeze for you to quickly bake your cookies!
For these cookies, you can freeze the dough right after you roll the dough balls in the sugar. Simply place the sugar-rolled dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze them for a few hours. Then toss the cookie dough balls into a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
PRO TIP: Be sure you remember to write the baking temperature and time on the bag with a marker before you pop the bag in the freezer. This way, you won’t need to remember where you found the recipe when you’re ready to bake the dough.
The dough will need an extra 2 minutes in the oven when you bake the frozen dough balls. SO EASY!!
And if you want to skip the white chocolate and crushed candy canes, that’s perfectly fine! These sparkling chocolate peppermint cookies can certainly hold their own without the chocolate and candy canes!
What I Love Most About This Chocolate Peppermint Cookies Recipe
First off, I love how the sugar you roll the dough balls in creates beautiful crackly tops on the cookies, which gives them the sparkling effect.
And in my opinion, they’re gorgeous enough cookies on their own, even without having been dipped in white chocolate and rolled in crushed candy canes. However, dipping the cookies really does set them completely over the top, don’t you think?
I’m a huge peppermint lover so obviously, these cookies hit all the marks with me. The peppermint flavor isn’t overwhelming though and I was able to keep it toned down by only using a tiny bit of peppermint extract in the dough. This way, the chocolate flavor still comes through in every bite.
If you’ll be making these cookies for folks you know aren’t true fans of peppermint, you can certainly replace the peppermint extract with vanilla extract. I promise I won’t judge!
I hope you’ll be adding these white chocolate dipped chocolate peppermint cookies to your holiday baking list this year (and every year!). They’re a show-stopper type of cookie that everyone will love!
For the cookies:
- 1 ¾ cups (249 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (50 g) dark cocoa powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups (347 g) sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 1 large egg
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract
- 12 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 3 dozen mini candy canes, crushed
- To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350° F and line large baking pans with parchment paper. Add about ½ cup granulated sugar to a shallow bowl or pie plate; set aside. Add the crushed candy canes to another shallow bowl; set aside.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and peppermint extract. With the mixer on low, gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated and no dry flour or cocoa remains.
- Using a small cookie scoop (#40), scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough into your hands, roll it into a ball, and place it on one of the cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- After you have rolled all of the dough, roll each ball around in the sugar so each is completely covered. Place the sugar-coated dough balls on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart (4 rows of 3).
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until you're able to just lift the edges of the cookies off the sheet with a spatula. The insides will still be a little soft and that's ok. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks, cool the cookies for 10 minutes before transferring them directly to the racks to cool completely. Keep the parchment paper on the baking sheets - you'll need this for the dipping steps.
- To dip and coat the cookies: Once the cookies have cooled, add the chopped white chocolate and the coconut oil to a small, deep, microwave-safe bowl, mug, or glass. Heat in the microwave for 30 second bursts, stirring after each one, until the chocolate is melted.
- Dip ⅓ of a cookie into the white chocolate, let the excess chocolate drip off into the bowl, and then coat the chocolate in the crushed candy canes. Place the cookie on one of the parchment-lined baking sheets to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookies. You can chill the cookies for a couple of minutes to help the chocolate set up faster if you need to.
chocolate cookie recipe adapted from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer
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- KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
- Reynolds Kitchens Pre-Cut Parchment Paper Baking Sheets - 12x16 Inch, 22 Count
- OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Half Sheet 13 x 18 Inch
- Spring Chef Cooling Rack - Baking Rack - Heavy Duty, 100% Stainless Steel, Oven Safe, 12 x 17 Inches Fits Half Sheet Cookie Pan