Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

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

sugar cookies with christmas sprinkles with a candy cane Hershey's kiss on top

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. ♫

sugar cookies with christmas sprinkles with a candy cane Hershey's kiss on top

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.

3 images of sugar cookies with christmas sprinkles with a candy cane Hershey's kiss on top

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.

chocolate cookies with a candy cane Hershey's kiss on top

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.

sugar cookies and chocolate cookies with christmas sprinkles with a candy cane Hershey's kiss on top on a white plate

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. 

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sugar cookies with christmas sprinkles with a candy cane Hershey's kiss on top on a white plate

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 sugar cookies and 20 chocolate cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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 yolks*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkles
  • 24 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses*

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 egg*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (51g) 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 Kisses*

Instructions

  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.
  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.

Notes

  1. Vanilla Cookies– Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Chocolate Cookies– Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  3. Eggs: 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.
  4. Candy Cane Hershey Kisses: 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.
  5. Sugar Cookie Dough: 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.
  6. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: candy cane kiss cookies

36 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Hey Sally! Can I add peppermint extract to the cookie anyway even if I have the candy cane kisses? I just really like peppermint things haha.

    Thanks!

    1. You sure can!

  2. Hi Sally,

    I’ve been wanting to try this recipe ever since you posted it, but I was worried about putting the cookie sheet into the freezer. Do you think cookie sheets might warp from the extreme temperature differences? I have a Vollrath cookie sheet, and I would hate for anything to happen to it! I’m just conflicted because I love all if your recipes lol.

    Thanks,
    Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy – I’ve never experienced warping. The sheets are only in the freezer for a few minutes. If you’re afraid, perhaps you can skip that step – though the kiss will melt down slightly.

  3. Cally Younger says:

    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!

  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. 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!!

  6. 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!

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

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

    1. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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! 😀

    1. Hi Hima! Yep, you can roll the sugar cookies into the colored sugar. I did that for a couple of my own.

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

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

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

  13. 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!)

    1. 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

  14. 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 🙂

  15. Jessica Harlan says:

    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!

  16. 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!!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. I recently came upon your site a few weeks ago in an attempt to try to a few new Christmas cookie recipes this year. Not only are the recipes unique, but you’ve added another level of interest with your humor….AND you are as “taken” with rainbow sprinkles as I am. Maybe now my husband won’t think I am as silly now that there is someone else out there with the same passion! lol!!! You have a new fan!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  20. Hi Sally –

    I am a big cookie baker esp around Christmas. These cookies were a new addition this year and I have gotten tons of compliments by everyone who has tried them. I went with the chocolate version and they are fabulous, so fudgey!!!

    Thanks for great recipes!!! Love your blog. Happy holidays!!

  21. The chocolate cookies with peppermint kisses were such a huge hit during the holidays I decided to make them again. This time I added mini reese’s pieces to the chocolate dough and ditched the kisses. They are, as are the norm with your recipes, to die for. Thanx for the delicious inspiration!

  22. Hi Sally! I made the sugar cookie version and they turned out wonderful! I crushed up a few candy canes and mixed them into the dough for a little chewy pepperminty crunchy surprise! 🙂

  23. Hey Sallie! For the chocolate cookies, should I roll the dough balls in powdered sugar before or after freezing? Thanks!

    1. After would be best.

  24. thank you so much for the recipe! Made these last night for Christmas cookie party! Big hit! They looked just like the picture too!

  25. I just made a double batch of these with my daughter. She loved rolling them in sprinkles and then helping me put the kisses in afterward! They look super cute and I`m excited to try them! Thanks!

  26. Hi I just made the sugar ones and they turned out like pancakes. I had them chilled over err night because I ran out of time. What did I do wrong? Any suggestions to prevent. I made last year and they’d turned out just fine.

  27. I made these last year and will do them again in Dec. They came out perfect. They are SO cute!!! They are yummy and not to difficult. 

  28. I made this this year again after making them last year! They are so yummy and my kiddos love helping with the sprinkles and the kisses. This year I got smart and put my kisses in the freezer early so they were frozen when they went on the cookies and this stopped them from melting. I also cooled my cookies outside cause it’s cold here right now! Thanks for this great recipe!

  29. Just made them they are beautiful and delicious

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