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Close up of stack of chocolate peppermint cookies on pink surface

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

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Chewy chocolate peppermint cookies that are perfect for the holidays. With candy cane bits and lots of chocolate flavor, they are a great addition to a Christmas cookie recipe tray. They come together quickly and can be baked immediately, or the cookie dough can be refrigerated or frozen for several days or weeks. 

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 35 medium


  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup crushed peppermint candy cane
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Extra crushed candy cane, for sprinkling before baking


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  2. Butter or spray a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. 
  3. Melt the chocolate: always start with chopped chocolate in a microwavable or glass bowl. You can use the microwave (short 10-15 second spurts stirring well between each one until it's fully melted) or a double boiler with the bowl containing the chocolate not touching the water. In both cases, make sure it doesn't scorch.
  4.  Beat butter with both sugars in a large bowl for about 3 minutes, until creamy. 
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl each time. 
  6. Add the melted chocolate, the vanilla, and mix until smooth. 
  7. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) before adding them to the butter mixture, or have them measured and sift as you add them. 
  8. Don’t overbeat at this point. Simply mix well with a spatula or beat at the lowest speed until no streaks of flour remain. 
  9. Add the chocolate chips and crushed candy cane. Mix well. At this point, you can bake the cookies or cover the bowl and refrigerate the cookie dough for a day or two.
  10. Scoop portions on the prepared baking sheets making sure they're separated 2 inches from each other. 
  11. Sprinkle with additional crushed candy bits if you want to. They look prettier after they're baked.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are dry but the centers are still soft. 
  13. Let cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes and carefully remove from the sheets and let cool completely on the cooling racks. 
  14. Store in an airtight container or cookie jar. 


  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Chocolate: the better the chocolate and cocoa powder you use, the better the flavor of the cookies. The brands I use can be found in the ingredients list and the Notes section in the recipe card below.
  • Chilling: I usually bake them directly but have chilled the dough for several hours and up to 2 days. There is not much difference in my experience. They're a tad more compact but not very noticeable. So use the refrigerator to make the cookie dough ahead if you need to.
  • Freezing: you can freeze the scooped cookie portions and bake them later. Put the scoops on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer. When the dough balls are rock solid, transfer them to a plastic bag or freezer container to free up the baking pan and space in the freezer. Bake them directly as instructed in the recipe. They might take an extra minute or so.
  • Extra candy: you can sprinkle extra crushed candy over the cookies when you remove them from the oven, so the colors are more vivid. Don't go overboard, as the mint flavor is not overpowering. Or save peppermint bits from the total amount to top the baked cookies. 
  • Chocolate: the better the quality, the better the outcome. I love dark chocolate, like Ghirardelli Intense 72% cacao bar or Green & Black Organic 70% cacao bar. But you can use less intense ones for a sweeter cookie, like Ghirardelli Semisweet Premium Bar.
  • Semisweet chocolate chips: any brand you already use works fine. I usually use Ghirardelli semisweet Chocolate chips and Hershey's semisweet baking chips.
  • Cocoa powder: make sure it's unsweetened. I usually use Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder, Valrhona Pure Cocoa powder, and Hershey's natural unsweetened cocoa.
  • Crushed peppermint candy: you can crush large candy canes or buy crushed ones, which is way easier. I only used Atkinson's Mint Twists crushed candy and love it. It stays soft to the bite after it's baked.
  • Mint extract: I use Simply Organic peppermint flavor or Nielsen Massey pure peppermint extract.
  • Vanilla - I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American