Celebrate the season with the merriest holiday treat and bake a batch of these peppermint chocolate chip cookies! Featuring the perfect buttery, soft and chewy texture and wonderfully crispy edges, these divine holiday cookies are loaded with chocolatey goodness and cooling peppermint flavor in every bite. You won’t find a more festive Christmas cookie recipe.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
A holiday twist on a classic favorite: No holiday cookie season is complete without making a batch of chocolate chip cookies, but we don’t want any old recipe for this time of year. Let’s make everyone’s favorite cookies extra special and festive with a touch of peppermint.
Perfect for beginner and expert bakers alike: You don’t need to be a master baker to make perfect chocolate chip cookies. No matter your skill level, you can make bakery-worthy cookies with this recipe.
Doubles as a thoughtful gift and party dessert: Need a nice homemade gift or cookie exchange recipe for friends, family and co-workers this holiday season? They’ll love a tin of these peppermint cookies. At the same time, these cookies are great for serving a crowd at your next holiday party, and you can make them ahead of time.
Let’s chat about the cookie ingredients to make sure you’re set up for success.
All-purpose flour: I specifically tested this recipe with all-purpose flour, not another variety.
Brown sugar: For a richer flavor and chewier texture, I used dark brown sugar, which has a higher molasses content. However, you can substitute light brown sugar if that’s what you have.
Cornstarch: This helps make cookies softer and chewier and prevents spreading.
Butter: We use salted butter instead of unsalted butter. No need to adjust the salt here. Also, make sure the butter is softened.
Peppermint extract: I don’t recommend skipping this. While the peppermint pieces impart that favorite holiday flavor, this gives the cookies an extra kick.
Chocolate chips: As a nod to the classic chocolate chip cookie, I used semi-sweet chocolate chips. That said, you’re welcome to substitute milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even white chocolate chips. Chocolate chunks work nicely too.
Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips: Some recipes call for crushed candy canes or peppermint candy, but I much prefer these baking chips. If you crush candy canes too finely, they end up melting into the cookie dough, causing the cookies to spread into a puddle. These peppermint chips give more consistent results, and you can easily order them on Amazon if your local grocery store doesn’t carry them.
If you insist on using crushed candy cane pieces, I’d recommend passing them through a fine-mesh sieve to ensure the pieces are sizable enough that they won’t melt. You can also buy pre-crushed peppermints that are designed for baked goods.
Step 1: We start by stirring together our dry ingredients in a medium bowl until combined (photo 1). This includes our all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda.
Step 2: In a separate large bowl, we beat together the softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until it’s light and fluffy like so (photo 2).
Baking tip: If using a Kitchenaid stand mixer, I find beating on speed four for four minutes is perfect.
Step 3: Now we add one egg (photo 3) and beat until the dough completely incorporates the egg. We then add the second egg and repeat the process.
Step 4: From here, we add a scoop or two of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed (photo 4). We continue to do this until we beat in all the dry ingredients.
Step 5: With the cookie dough base prepared, all that’s left is to stir in the chocolate chips and peppermint baking chips (photo 5). Now we refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes. This allows the cookie dough to stiffen a bit to prevent overspreading.
Step 6: After the chill time, we use a cookie scoop to form it into golf ball-size pieces and place the cookie dough balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (photo 6) and bake in a 375-degree oven for nine minutes. Like the cornstarch and resting phase, parchment paper helps prevent spreading, so don’t skip this preparation.
Step 7: When the cookies finish baking, we remove them from the oven, allow them to set on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then move to wire racks to cool (photo 7).
Just like that, we have a batch of freshly baked peppermint chocolate chip cookies for some holiday fun. Pour yourself a glass of milk, dunk and love every chewy bite. Aren't they the best Christmas cookies?
Once the cookies cool completely on a wire rack, move them to an airtight container. To help keep them extra soft, place a piece of bread in the container with the cookies. They should last up to five days at room temperature.
The easiest way is to leave the butter on your countertop at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. If you forget, you can cut the butter into cubes, and that smaller surface area will soften even faster. You know the butter is properly softened when you press your finger into the butter and it leaves an imprint.
You really need to chill the cookie dough to prevent excessive spreading. Note the texture of the dough before chilling, and you’ll see how much it firms up in just 30-60 minutes. The dough has a lot more structure after a quick chill, so don’t skip this step.
You sure can. In fact, you can freeze both the cookie dough and the baked cookies. To freeze the cookie dough, roll the dough into balls and keep them in a freezer-safe bag. Bake the frozen cookie dough within three months for best results. Keep in mind, you may need another minute or two of baking time if you bake the dough while frozen.
For freezing baked cookies, simply place them in a single layer in a freezer-safe bag and freeze flat. You’ll want to eat them within three or four weeks, so they don’t have quite as much staying power as frozen cookie dough. When you’re ready to thaw, leave the cookies at room temperature.
Measure flour correctly: Don’t scoop your measuring cup into a bag of flour. That packs in too much and can throw off the measurement. Instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level with a butter knife.
Use room-temperature eggs: Cold eggs don’t mix as well. Let the eggs sit on the countertop at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to mixing, and you’re good to go. If you happen to forget, you can speed up the process by placing the eggs in warm water — not hot water — for 10 minutes.
Don’t worry if the cookies look underbaked: This is a good sign that they’ll stay nice and soft. As the cookies cool, they will solidify.
Make an extra pretty presentation: Once you shape the cookie dough into balls, you’re more than welcome to add additional chocolate chips and peppermint chips on top. This is a food photography tip that I like to put into real-life practice because they look nicer, and you get more chocolatey goodness.
Beer and cookies are one of my favorite food and drink pairings, and you will love an imperial stout. The roasted malt tastes wonderful with the chocolate chips, and this is a big beer with some residual sweetness that makes it perfect with a sweet treat.
When it comes to wine, a cabernet sauvignon is a classic pairing when peppermint is involved. A cabernet shows off a dry finish that works nicely with the sharp peppermint, and you’ll love how the oak barrel notes play with the buttery cookie base.
If you’re looking for a cocktail, I can’t think of a more perfect pairing than my peppermint-chocolate martini. The matching flavors were made for each other. My Baileys chocolate martini is another good call.
For the most festive Christmas cookie, I hope you try these chewy peppermint chocolate chip cookies. They’re sure to make the season extra merry.
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Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Mixing bowls
- Stand or hand mixer
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Wire racks
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 cups chocolate chips the equivalent of a 12-ounce bag
- 1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, dark brown sugar, white sugar, peppermint extract and vanilla extract on medium speed until soft and fluffy.
- Using a spatula, scrape the beaten butter and sugar off the side of the bowl. Beat in one egg just until combined. Repeat with the remaining egg.
- Again, use a spatula to scrape off any of the butter mixture on the side of the bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of the flour mixture and beat on low until combined. Repeat until you incorporate all the flour mixture.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and Andes Peppermint Crunch. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Form the cookie dough into balls so that they're about the size of a golf ball. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Bake for nine minutes and remove from oven. Let the cookies set for a minute or two and then use a baking spatula to move to wire racks to cool completely. Once cooled, store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
- Andes Peppermint Crunch is available on Amazon if you can't find it at the store. If you decide to substitute it with crushed candy canes, make sure you pass the candy through a fine-mesh sieve to ensure you don't get any small pieces or powder that will melt the cookies and cause way too much spreading while baking.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. To keep them extra soft, place a piece of bread in the container with the cookies.
- Don’t scoop your measuring cup into a bag of flour. That packs in too much and can throw off the measurement. Instead, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level with a butter knife.
- Let the eggs sit on the countertop at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to mixing. If you happen to forget, you can speed up the process by placing the eggs in warm water — not hot water — for 10 minutes.
- Don’t worry if the cookies look underbaked. This is a good sign that they’ll stay nice and soft. As the cookies cool, they will solidify.
- Once you shape the cookie dough into balls, you’re more than welcome to add additional chocolate chips and peppermint chips on top. This makes for a pretty presentation, though it is optional.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.