These peppermint sugar cookies are tender and buttery with a delicious hint of peppermint. Then they’re frosted with creamy peppermint frosting and topped with crushed candy canes for a delicious Christmas cookie that looks beautiful on your cookie tray!
Why Make these Peppermint Sugar Cookies?
Baking Tips & Tricks
- Chilling the dough for is absolutely necessary for this recipe. It will need to chill for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours. Make sure to allow yourself enough time. I typically make the dough the day before I plan to bake and frost the cookies. I let it chill in the fridge overnight, then roll it out, bake and frost the next day.
- Before making the dough, be sure that the butter is softened but not starting to melt. You should be able to press your finger gently into the butter and it will make an indent, but it shouldn’t be looking slimy or starting to melt.
- This recipe uses a combination of butter and cream cheese for incredibly soft and tender cookies. The cream cheese is a secret ingredient. Be sure you’re using full-fat, brick-style cream cheese and nothing labeled low calorie, low fat, whipped or spreadable.
- In this recipe we’re using a little cornstarch (AKA cornflour for my British and Australian readers). Cornstarch is key for making cookies extremely tender. Don’t forgot it!
- After making the dough give it a little squeeze between your fingers. If the dough sticks to your fingers, mix in 1-2 more tablespoons of flour.
- When rolling out the cookie dough, make sure your counter and rolling pin are well floured.
- Because we want thick cookies, I recommend rolling out the dough to be about ⅓ to ¼ inch thick.
- Note: because these cookies are meant to be soft and thick – this is not the best recipe for using intricate cookie cutters as the dough will not hold its shape very well as the cookies bake. I always use a circle shaped cookie cutter. Candy cane cookie cutters are OK, if you’re fine with the candy canes getting a little chubby.
- The amount of peppermint extract you use is really up to you. I recommend using a little in the cookie dough (½ teaspoon) and then using ½ – 1 teaspoon in the frosting depending on your preference. It’s always easier to adjust the amount of peppermint in the frosting, compared to the cookie dough.
Buttery, tender and melt-in-your mouth soft – these peppermint sugar cookies are the perfect Christmas cookie that’s classic, but just a little different. And if you need more Christmas cookies to add to your cookie tray, then be sure to try:
- Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Candy Cane White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- Cookie Sheets
Peppermint Sugar Cookies
- 2 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (281 grams)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch AKA cornflour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (112 grams) softened but not starting to melt
- 4 ounces brick-style cream cheese (112 grams) softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter (150 grams) softened
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar (220-330 grams)
- ½ - 1 teaspoon peppermint extract to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-4 tablespoons milk (30-60 ml)
- red food coloring optional
- 2 crushed candy canes
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until creamy.
- Mix in the vanilla extract, peppermint extract and egg. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Start mixing with the electric mixer on a low speed, then gradually increase to medium speed until all the dry ingredients are combined.
- Turn off the mixer. Squeeze the dough between your fingers. If it sticks to your fingers, mix in 1-3 more tablespoons of flour until it no longer sticks.
- Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a ball and then flatten into a round disc about ½ inch (1 cm) thick and wrap in plastic. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F or 325F on a convection oven (180C or 170C) and line cookie sheets with baking paper or baking mats (this helps prevent the bottoms from burning or over browning).
- Take the dough out of the fridge. If it's been in there overnight, it may need to sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes first.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and dust a rolling pin with flour. Unwrap 1 disc from the plastic and gently roll out until it's about ¼ - ⅓ inch (about ½ cm) thick. Cut into shapes using a round cookie cutter and place cookies 1.5 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. Repeat the process until all the dough is used.
- Bake 1 cookie sheet at a time in the preheated oven for about 7-10 minutes, or until the tops no longer look doughy. The cookies should not be golden brown. Cool completely.
- Beat the butter until soft and creamy.
- Add in 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, the salt and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract.
- Start with the mixer on a low speed and gradually increase until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of cream/milk until the desired sweetness and thickness is reached. Optionally, mix in a little more peppermint extract and/or a few drops of food coloring.
- Frost the cooled cookies using a flat-edge knife (or you could use a piping bag) and decorated with crushed candy canes.
- Number of Cookies: The number of cookies this recipe yields will vary greatly depending on the size of your cookie cutters and how thick/thin you roll out the dough.
- Cream Cheese: Be sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Do not use anything from a tub or that is labeled low calorie/low fat, spreadable or whipped.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is key for tender cookies. Do not leave it out.
- Peppermint Extract: You can find this in the baking aisle of your grocery store near the vanilla extract. Do not use peppermint essence.
- Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days (if your kitchen isn't warm), or in the fridge for up to 1 week. Unfrosted cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months and then thawed in the fridge.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie with frosting, assuming the recipe yields 20 uniform cookies and all the frosting is used.
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