Every Christmas, my domestic side kicks into high gear and I make a ton of treats for friends, family & neighbors. I have a few old standards that I turn out each year (like my salted caramels), but this time I added a new treat to the mix: peppermint sugar cookies.
Like most of the things I make, it’s an easy recipe that tastes fancier than it really is. I used the basic sugar cookie recipe that I’ve been baking for years & just tweaked it a bit. The result: soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies with flecks of peppermint in every bite.
I’m including a recipe for a minty royal icing if you want to add a glaze to dress them up a bit. It’s not necessary and I skip it if I’m baking multiple batches (I’ve baked 30 dozen so far this year), but it does add some eye appeal and you can even sprinkle on a little more crushed peppermint before the icing hardens if you want to make them extra-fancy.
This recipe makes 5 dozen small cookies; if you keep them bite-sized then each cookie contains about 85 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 12.5 grams of carbs & 1 gram of protein.
Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened (not melted – that will change the texture)
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies (or 4-5 crushed candy canes) – I use a food processor or put them in a plastic bag & beat ’em up with a rolling pin
- 1/4 cup Andes peppermint crunch baking chips (if you can’t find them, just double the amount of crushed peppermint)
Preheat oven to 350F & line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set out cooling racks if you have them (the air circulation makes a difference in the texture of the finished product).
Cream together butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts and mix until combined. A cup at a time, add the flour until just combined, then gently fold in crushed peppermints and baking chips until they’re incorporated into the dough. Don’t over mix!
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and evenly space apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (I can fit 15 – 5 rows, 3 columns – on each sheet).
Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then move cookies to your cooling racks until completely cool.
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3-4 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies (or red sugar sprinkles if you’re tired of crushing mints at this point)
In a small bowl, whisk sugar, water & extract together. Dip tops of cookies in icing or brush on tops of cookies with a pastry or basting brush, then sprinkle each cookie with a bit of crushed peppermint or sugar sprinkles & let the topping harden.
That’s it! These cookies taste great with my peppermint cocoa, by the way. But that’s a post for another day!