Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Festive sugar cookies and chocolate cookies stuffed with a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss. Soft, chewy, and easy to make!

Festive sugar cookies and chocolate cookies stuffed with a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss. Soft, chewy, and easy to make!

Meet my new favorite Christmas cookie. There’s sugar, there’s candy canes, there’s Hershey Kisses, there’s sprinkles (!!). Surely you’re not surprised by my new favorite cookie to make around the holidays, right? Just look how festive they are.

But that’s not all. I’m not only sharing one Christmas cookie recipe with you today. I’m sharing two. Candy Cane Kiss Cookies in both sugar/vanilla cookie AND chocolate cookie.

Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la. ♫

Festive sugar cookies and chocolate cookies stuffed with a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss. Soft, chewy, and easy to make!

I went to Target this past weekend and, as per the usual, I headed straight for the candy aisle. I picked up a giant bag of Candy Cane Hershey Kisses and knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. Cookies! Cue fight inside Sally’s head… 

Chocolate crinkle cookies! No, wait. Vanilla sugar cookies with sprinkles! No…. chocolate. No! Vanilla. Choc…van… ugh.

I threw up my hands and dropped the Candy Cane Hershey Kisses into the red cart. Two indecisive days later, I made both cookie recipes and rather than fighting with myself about which recipe to share first…because I clearly do not need any more quarrels inside my brain… I’m sharing both!

Merry Christmas.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies. A festive Christmas cookie everyone will love! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s discuss the vanilla cookies first.

I have several sugar cookie recipes at the moment in my archives. These soft-baked funfetti cookies, cake batter sugar cookies, and jelly bean sugar cookies. The first sugar cookie recipe is fantastic, but the cookies aren’t as thick and puffy as the last two. The last two cookies are actually derived from the same basic recipe. It’s a perfect sugar cookie to make into a blossom cookie, where you stick something (like a Hershey Kiss) into the center.

That’s the sugar cookie recipe I used today, only I doubled the recipe as well as slightly increased the butter because I found the dough to be too dry. It’s a very basic sugar cookie recipe to make drop cookies. No strange ingredients – just butter, sugar, leavener, flour, egg yolk (for moisture and chew), and that’s about it! Bonus: there is no dough chilling required for the sugar/vanilla cookies.

Make the cookie dough, roll into balls (about 1 Tbsp of dough each), roll into assorted sprinkles, and bake for 8-10 minutes. This is very important to read: The cookie should be relatively firm. If you find that it’s very soft and hard to roll, chill for at least 30 minutes. Soft cookie dough = flat cookies. Also, the cookies will look very, very under baked. That’s what you need. Do not over bake. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes. Press the Hershey Kiss into the center and put the tray into the freezer. Doing this will prevent the kiss from melting.

Now, let’s discuss the chocolate crinkle cookies.

I used my tried-and-true chocolate cookie recipe to make the chocolate variety. This chocolate cookie has been getting rave reviews and guess what? It’s quite a simple recipe. Soft, chewy, thick, and ultra fudgy.

You must (MUST!) chill the chocolate cookie dough for at least 2 hours. It’s a very sticky cookie dough; when cocoa powder is mixed with anything wet, you have a sticky mess. So we will chill the cookie dough. The longer you chill the dough, the less sticky it will be – making it much easier to handle. Chilling the dough will also make your baked cookies thicker. Once chilled, roll the cookie dough into balls (a little more than 1 Tbsp of dough each) and roll into powdered sugar. Bake for 10 minutes.

This is very important to read: Just as I explained with the sugar cookie dough, the chocolate cookies will look under baked. That’s what you need. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes. Press the Hershey Kiss into the center and put the tray into the freezer. Doing this will prevent the kiss from melting.

Festive Chocolate Candy Cane Kiss Cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Because the sugar cookie dough does not need to be chilled and the chocolate cookie dough does need to be chilled, I made the chocolate cookie dough in the morning and then the sugar cookie dough when I was ready to bake both batches.

And guess what? If you cannot find Candy Cane Hershey Kisses, you may use regular chocolate Hershey Kisses. To get a peppermint flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to either cookie dough when you add the vanilla extract.

Festive sugar cookies and chocolate cookies stuffed with a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss. Soft, chewy, and easy to make!

So which cookie will you make first? The vanilla cookie or the chocolate cookie? Clearly, I can’t choose. Enjoy TWO new Christmas cookie recipes! Get baking.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Festive sugar cookies and chocolate cookies stuffed with a Candy Cane Hershey Kiss. Soft, chewy, and easy to make!

Ingredients:

Sugar/Vanilla Cookie Dough

  • 10 Tablespoons (145g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks1
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkles
  • 24 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses2

Chocolate Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg1
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (52g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners' sugar
  • 20 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses2

Directions:

  1. For the sugar/vanilla cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Using a hand-held or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 5 full minutes, scraping down the sides and the bottom as necessary. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, beating on medium-high until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. In a medium bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients on low speed until fully combined. The dough will be very thick. If the dough is extremely sticky, chill for at least 45 minutes.
  2. Roll dough into balls, a little less than 1 Tablespoon of dough each. The dough may seem dry*, but the warmth of your hands will allow it to come together in a ball. Roll into assorted sprinkles and bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will look very, very under baked. That's what you need. Do not over bake. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Press a Hershey Kiss into the center and immediately put the cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes. Doing this will prevent the kiss from melting. Cookies remain fresh tightly covered at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Cookie dough balls may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Roll into sprinkles right before baking. Do not thaw; simply bake for an extra minute or two.
  3. For the chocolate cookies: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed for about 20 seconds. Add the sugars with the mixer running on medium speed. Cream it all together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Slowly add to the wet ingredients on low speed. Beat in the milk on medium speed until combined. The dough will be thick and very sticky. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Roll dough into balls, a little more than 1 Tablespoon of dough each. Roll each ball into confectioners' sugar to coat heavily. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Press a Hershey Kiss into the center and immediately put the cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 minutes. Doing this will prevent the kiss from melting. Cookies remain fresh tightly covered at room temperature for 1 week. Cookies may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Cookie dough balls may be frozen up to 2-3 months. Roll into confectioners' sugar right before baking. Do not thaw; simply bake for an extra minute or two.

Recipe Notes:

For the sugar cookies: the cookie dough should be relatively firm and even somewhat dry. If you find that it's very soft and hard to roll, chill for at least 45 minutes. Soft cookie dough = flat cookies. I strongly recommend King Arthur flour because this flour has a higher protein content than any other flour on the market. More protein in flour results in thicker cookies.

  1. I strongly suggest using room temperature egg yolks and egg (respectively) for these cookies recipes so the egg(s) disperse more evenly into the cookie doughs. To bring to room temperature quickly, place egg(s) into a glass of warm water for 5 minutes.
  2. If you cannot find Candy Cane Hershey Kisses, you can use regular chocolate Hershey Kisses. To get a peppermint flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to either cookie dough when you add the vanilla extract.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

If you like today’s cookies, you’ll love these Holiday Confetti Cake Batter Cookies, which are made with cake mix for a fast and easy shortcut!

Holiday Confetti Cake Batter Cookies by Sallys Baking Addiction #cookies

See more holiday recipe ideas.

See more cookie recipes.

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies. A festive Christmas cookie everyone will love! sallysbakingaddiction.com
Candy Cane Kiss Cookies. A festive Christmas cookie everyone will love! sallysbakingaddiction.com
Candy Cane Kiss Cookies. A festive Christmas cookie everyone will love! sallysbakingaddiction.com

212 comments

  1. Oh my good golly! I just bought the kisses because I was going to make mint brownies in mini muffin cups w/ the kisses pressed in them ! Now I have to try these sugar cookies too. I’m doing some desserts for our office open house & these would be perfect. Thank you!!

    • Those mint brownies sound pretty amazing. Both desserts will be a hit. Enjoy, Lisa!

      • I made these today & I think I overlooked them by about 1 minute! They cracked a little when I put the kisses on them. But they taste great & I think next time I’ll follow your advise better & undercook them just a bit!! Thanks for a great recipe !!

      • Yep, slightly underbaking is key! They will firm up as they cool. Glad you made them, Lisa! Thanks for reporting back.

  2. Sally,
    These are going to become a regular Christmas staple at our house! I’ll have to make half with regular chocolate kisses as my husband is not a huge fan of the peppermint ones. He’s crazy, I know! I’m going to try the chocolate cookies with the mint and dark chocolate kisses too!

  3. I am going to try both kinds today! I have been trying to make some kind of cookie everyday and these look super fun and festive! My sister doesn’t like chocolate and mint(I don’t understand her!) so I am going to try to choclate ones with little peanut butter cups in them instead. I can’t wait to eat them! :).

    • The PB cups in the chocolate crinkle cookies – fantastic idea! I have to try that next. Hope you both enjoy, Nea!

      • They were wonderful! The vanilla candy cane ones were amazing and the chocolate ones were so richly chocolatey. The PB cups worked really well, they got all melty and soft on top, yum! I rolled the chocolate ones in colored sugar instead of powered because I love the crunchy outside it gives the cookies, which are so soft and rich inside :). I am going to try to make your ginger snaps tomorrow, I like to roll them out into shapes though. They make really soft gingerbread men. my sister made them with me last time and she loves gingerbread men :).

      • Ok now I want a chocolate/peanut butter cup cookie for breakfast. Love that you rolled them in crunchy sugar too. Sounds perfect for a texture loving gal like myself. Let me know how the soft gingerbread men recipe goes, Nea. Now I’m dying to try it!

  4. Just baked these- although without the hershey’s kisses since they don’t sell them where I live. They taste so good- should have taken them out a bit earlier but dunked in hot chocolate, oh my god! 😀

  5. These are both adorable. I’m starting to think we should put candy cane kisses on everything ever.

  6. Hi Sally!
    I just made two batches of these and they turned out great! My younger brother is allergic to eggs, but I was successfully able to use a substitute in the first batch. He’s excited to have a recipe he can enjoy too! The cookies are SO chocolatey and pair perfectly with the mint. And dare I say the dough was just as good as the final product? 😉 Thanks for sharing so many delicious recipes with us!!

    • The dough is SOOOOO good, Lauren. 🙂 Happy you were able to make the cookies for him and that they were enjoyed!

  7. I made both sets of cookies last night! They are great, especially the chocolate cookies. I used a lot of blue sprinkles with the vanilla cookies so there is a bit too much color going on! Thanks for posting these recipes!

  8. I made both and I just can’t decide which ones I like better! They’re absolutely perfect! You’re a star. Here’s a pic of how mine turned out!

    http://instagram.com/p/ho76qUuGI5/

  9. So beautiful! I made the sugar cookie variety and followed your instructions to a tee, but mine were far more spread out than yours when it was time to add the kisses. I baked them a full 10 minutes on convection at 350. Do you think I overbaked? Should I have chilled the dough! They taste great, but yours were do perfectly puffy and I am envious.

    • Hi Monica – as mentioned in the post – if your dough is sticky at all, you should chill it. If you have a sticky dough, then typically your cookies will spread. This dough is usually very firm, so there is no need to chill it.

  10. Sally – I made the chocolate version yesterday – they were excellent!!! I will definately be making these again and again and again! 😉

  11. I read this post this morning, and was like, oh, those look good. Too bad they never send the fancy Hershey’s kisses to Canada. Then…what did I find in the grocery store?! Candy Cane Kisses! I WHOOPED out loud and scared several little old ladies. SO HAPPY! Can you see my grin from here?! Trying these tonite.

  12. They look divine!! Can both doughs be frozen?

    • Yep! Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. For best results, I suggest you roll the cookies and then freeze the balls. For the chocolate cookie dough, you’d have to chill it first, then roll, then freeze. Both can be frozen up to 2 months.

  13. Made the chocolate ones yesterday/today. They are super duper cute and tasty. Your sprinkle cookies have changed the way I look at all cookies now. I can’t tell you how many of your recipes I have made – and they have ALL been successful. Your pie crust was used for Thanksgiving. Gingerbread muffins were made last week for a preshool snack. During the summer we made the strawberry cake mix cookies with chocolate chips. For my daughters 5th birthday she passed out your tasty sprinkle sugar cookies. They were a huge hit. I also tracked down a recipe (somewhere else, sob..) and I made a cookie butter cheese ball and covered it with multi-colored sprinkles and thought of you and your sprinkle love!!! Can’t wait to try the cake batter puppy chow – and make it look holiday-ish!!! Would have happened tonight if i had heavy cream!

    Very excited to purchase your cookbook. My husband said he was going to get it for me for xmas – and was sad it wasn’t out yet!

    Just know you are really inspiring and creative! Thanks so much! Super Fan!

    • Lea, you are the sweetest. This comment completely made my day! You have made so many of my favorite recipes. All great choices! That puppy chow is downright awesome. Very sweet, very addicting. And yes, very sprinkle-y. That sprinkle cheese ball? Oh you know me too well! Sounds fantastic. Such a fun party food I bet!

      Thanks for getting excited about my book. Yes, it won’t be here until March 1st. I am counting down the days, trust me!

  14. I tried ur sprinkle cookies he they were amazing, under award winning recipe from u! <3
    Although I was wondering why my batter wasn't thick and firm like it should have been and even after I chilled them for 30 minutes. These were still soft and AMAZING!

    • Hi Hannah – the sugar cookie dough should be firm because there aren’t many liquid ingredients to keep it soft. Are you sure you used enough flour? Perhaps try chilling for longer.

  15. These are so cute and festive! Love the sprinkles on the sugar ones 🙂

  16. So festive! These look amazing 🙂

  17. Hey Sally! For the sugar cookies I went to get festive sprinkles but I couldn’t find them in my grocery store. 🙁 But they had red and green colored sugar. Would I be able to use that instead? Thanks in advance! 😀

  18. Just made the chocolate ones… half with candy cane kisses and half with cherry cordial kisses. They are DeLiCiOuS!!

  19. I just made these for a holiday gathering tomorrow. Mine are flatter than yours. I should have chilled the dough–would recommend that to others. Also, I have found that some sprinkles taste better than others, and the taste of the sprinkles is a significant part of this cookie’s flavor profile. To avoid a potential disaster from stale or yucky nonpariels, taste your sprinkles before you immerse two dozen cookies in them!

  20. Over the past year, I have gotten into baking and your blog has become my go-to place to find a recipe when I’m in the mood to bake! I even pre-ordered your book already!! I am looking forward to trying all of your Christmas cookie recipes, especially now that my SilPat baking mats arrived (had to get them based on your rave reviews). 😉

    I have a general question for you…Do you ever put more than one cookie sheet (of the same cookies) in the oven at a time?? It may sound like a silly question but I always bake them one at a time because I was never sure how it would affect the baking. It would obviously be faster to put two in at a time…do you ever do this and if so, do you adjust the baking time or rotate the trays midway through baking??

    Thanks!!

    • Hi Stacey! Not a silly question at all. I never bake two batches of cookies at the same time. One batch at a time. The cookies would bake unevenly, even if you rotated them. It’s worth the extra 10-15 minutes to bake in batches.

      • Thanks! That’s what I thought but I figured I’d get your expert opinion! 😉

        BTW, I have the dough for the “Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies” and the dough for “THE Chocolate Chip Cookie” chilling in the fridge as we speak! Can’t wait to bake them. And, if it wasn’t snowing here right now, I’d be on my way to the store to find Candy Cane Kisses to make these today too!

      • You are on a baking spree today Stacey! I love it. Enjoy them all.

    • PS: Thanks for buying my cookbook!

  21. Can I mix the dough together like how you did with the Soft Baked Chocolate Swirl Cookie?! :3

    • Cindy, that would be amazing. Great thinking! Definitely give it a try. Chill both cookie doughs if you do it that way.

  22. Thank you so much for your recipes! You write so well and clear, its so easy to learn new baking techniques, it makes the world of a difference. I made these cookies for a Christmas party this weekend. My 3 year old daughter lOVED helping me make these. My first batch was good, my second batch was overly dry, not sure why, and then the 3rd batch was PERFECT and amazing. They were definitely the most popular cookies at the party!! Thank you thank you! (Wish I could attach a photo of my cookies!)

    • Hi Kendra. I appreciate this comment so much! Thank you for saying all those kinds things about my writing technique. Baking can be tricky with terrible instructions, so that’s why it’s important to adequately break everything down! Anyway, so glad these cookies were a hit! Feel free to email me a photo – I love seeing them! sallysbakingaddiction (at) gmail.com

  23. Sally these are DELICIOUS! I didn’t have sprinkles so I added some green food coloring to the dough and they came out super cute. They were a huge hit at my work holiday party. I also added a 1/4 tsp. of peppermint extract to the dough since I love peppermint 🙂

  24. These are such cute cookies that I decided to make them. The cookies are sweet and softer than many butter cookies. I think they are tastier without the striped Hershey kiss, which tastes kind of waxy in comparison to the pleasantness of the cookie. So when I ran out of the striped Hershey kisses, I just rolled these into balls and dipped them into holiday sugars and jimmies. The chocolate dough has a fudgy consistency even after cooling in the refrigerator. I cut small pieces with a knife that I then rolled into balls. Both cookies expand A LOT. I decided that with or without the Hershey kiss the best size for these cookies was teaspoon size, or even slightly smaller. Much bigger and they become too big for the kiss and they start to crumble.

    • Hi Jodie – thanks for your feedback! The chocolate cookies are definitely fudgy. Love that about them! And I’m sorry you find the hershey kisses to be waxy. both cookies are fantastic on their own though.

  25. I’ve made the chocolate version of these cookies twice in one week: once for my daughter’s school’s bake sale, and once, without the kisses, for a cookie swap I’m hosting. They have the perfect texture, and I love how they’re rolled in powdered sugar before baking so they get a sort of glaze on them. I think I actually prefer them without the kisses on top (it’s almost *too* much, if too much chocolate and sweet could be possible). And I must be making mine smaller, because the second time I made them, I managed to get 3 dozen! When I make them again I might mix crushed candy cane into the powdered sugar.

    I’ve been disappointed that so many crinkle cookie recipes on Pinterest have cake mix as the first ingredient, so THANK YOU for making one that uses “real” ingredients! These are going to be on my traditional Christmas cookie list from now on!

    • Hi Jessica! I am so happy these were a big hit! And the powdered sugar “glaze” is the best part. It gets all melty and completely irresistible. Love the idea of using crushed candy canes with the powdered sugar too. I have to try that!

  26. Hi Sally!
    I made the sugar cookie version last night and love them! They are so cute and festive! I brought to work today so I can’t wait to see what people think of them.

    I also made up the dough for the chocolate cookies to give as gifts for people at work. I mixed the dough on Saturday, was planning on baking yesterday (Sunday). Realized a couple of the people I was giving them to are out today so decided to bake tonight instead and left the dough in the fridge. NOW one of the guys is out until Thursday (don’t they know I was trying to do a nice thing for them?!) so I want to bake them on Thursday night to bring in on Friday. Is it too late to freeze the dough? Or should I leave in the fridge? I’m so unsure!

    • Hey Rebecca! I would roll the chocolate cookie dough today and then freeze as balls until Thursday night. Then, let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then roll into the powdered sugar and bake as directed. That should be perfect! So sweet of you to bake them for your coworkers. They’re lucky!

      • Thank you so much for your help!

        I made the sugar cookie version and brought to work too and they got RAVE reviews! Going to make them again for my family, I think they’re my new favorite!

  27. So yes, I made these, and they were a HUGE hit. Your recipe is perfect and all your tips made making them even easier. I made the vanilla not the chocolate ones (next!!) and everyone raved. Thanks Sally. Your recipes never steer us wrong!!

  28. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how Christmasy these cookies look! I showed them to my 11 year old niece to see if she would like to make these on our Annual Christmas Cookie baking night and she was so excited. After the loud “YES” she asked “Is this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction?” She loves your recipes too 🙂 I did have one question, if I were to make both cookie doughs ahead of time and chill overnight, is there anything special I should do with them the next day before baking?

    • Just allow the doughs to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before using because they will be rock hard otherwise. Hope you all enjoy them, Kara! I love that your niece knows my blog! That completely made my day. Tell her thanks!

  29. Sally, what a winning cookie recipe!! They are SO soft and delicious!

    I actually ran out of eggs yesterday and substituted about 3 tablespoons of greek yogurt for the two eggs, and you can’t tell the difference! I also used the Hershey’s peppermint bark drops instead of the kisses, because I couldn’t find those!

    Amazing cookies! I made a huge box for my friends, I hope they like them!

    • Whitney – that is SO great to know about the eggs! Thank you so much for reporting back about it because now I know what to do if I run out too. I have a feeling your friends will just love them. Perfect gift.

  30. Hi Sally I just made these for christmas party and they were a hit! You did great once again! Also I just saw your engagement photos and you are so pretty!!! SOOO happy for you!

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