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These peppermint mocha cookies are soft-baked with a generous dunk in white chocolate and sprinkle of candy cane crunch. They taste like brownies and are always the first to disappear at a cookie exchange!

peppermint mocha cookies with half of each cookie dipped in white chocolate and topped with crushed candy canes

I was inspired to make today’s cookies after baking chocolate crinkle cookies and mocha cheesecake brownies on the same day. Individually, they’re delicious. But combined? I had to try it. I got to work mixing espresso powder and peppermint extract together and crushing every candy cane in sight. The end result was out of this world– in fact, my friend said “these are the best thing to happen to Christmas cookies.”

Peppermint mocha cookies are soul-warming and pepperminty– just like an actual peppermint mocha, but better!

overhead image of mocha cookies on a marble serving tray with chopped white chocolate and crushed candy canes

These Peppermint Mocha Cookies Taste Like Brownies

One bite of these peppermint mocha cookies and you’ll be surprised to find a cookie instead of a brownie in your hand. These cookies taste just like fudgy brownies! We can thank my basic chocolate cookie dough for that. You probably recognize this cookie dough– it’s what I use to make chocolate crinkle cookies and many other chocolate cookie creations. It’s the best base recipe because this magical dough creates rich, thick, and chewy chocolate cookies that stay soft for days. We’re talking soft cookies even on day 7. If in the very strange event that your chocolate cookies last that long. (Who are you?)

overhead image of peppermint mocha cookies with half of each cookie dipped in white chocolate and topped with crushed candy canes on a marble serving tray

How to Make Peppermint Mocha Cookies

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the recipe so you understand each step before you get started.

  1. Cream the wet ingredients together. As detailed in the recipe below, cream the butter and sugars together before adding the egg, vanilla, and peppermint extract.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together. This includes the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt.
  3. Combine both and add the chocolate chips. The dough will be very thick and sticky.
  4. Chill the cookie dough. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  5. Roll cookie dough into balls. Use about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per ball.
  6. Bake. Let the cookies cool completely.
  7. Melt the white chocolate. 
  8. Dip each cookie halfway into the white chocolate. Place each cookie onto a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of the chocolate. Repeat this process with the rest of the cookies.
  9. Refrigerate the cookies. This helps the chocolate set.

peppermint mocha cookies with half of each cookie dipped in white chocolate and topped with crushed candy canes on a white plate

Secret Ingredient: Espresso Powder

Espresso powder gives the cookies their unbelievable mocha flavor. I use just two teaspoons and the flavor is unreal. If you can’t find espresso powder in stores, you can use instant coffee instead. You’d need a little more instant coffee since it isn’t as strong or rich as espresso powder. I find espresso powder at my regular grocery store, but you can also find it online. I don’t recommend using ground coffee because it’s not as flavorful as espresso powder or instant coffee, both of which have super concentrated flavor.

Peppermint extract is another power player here. Always be careful when using peppermint extract! It’s scary potent– a little goes a very long way. And make sure you are using peppermint extract, not mint extract. The latter tastes like spearmint toothpaste. It’s not good.

Everything You’ll Love About Peppermint Mocha Cookies

As if you need more reasons to bake these cookies:

  • They’re super chocolatey and taste like brownies. Sometimes I add mini chocolate chips to the cookie dough for extreme chocolate flavor.
  • You’ll love the combination of white chocolate + regular chocolate.
  • They’re totally festive and stand out on holiday cookie trays.
  • The bites with the white chocolate and candy cane crush are the best. The candy canes add a soft crunch– perfect if you love texture like me!
  • Peppermint + mocha = perfection.

Whenever I go to a cookie exchange I always make these cookies; they’re really unique and everyone goes wild for them! Or if you prefer frosting on top of your cookies, you’ll love these peppermint frosted chocolate cookies.

Print
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peppermint mocha cookies with half of each cookie dipped in white chocolate and topped with crushed candy canes

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 20 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These peppermint mocha cookies will be the star of your holiday cookie tray and cookie exchanges! The candy cane crunch and white chocolate put them over the top!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (51g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder or 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (180g) mini or regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large candy canes, crushed

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Switch to high speed and beat in the chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I always chill mine overnight.
  3. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes– if the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  5. Scoop and roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls and place on the baking sheets.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. Melt the chopped white chocolate in a double boiler or (carefully!) use the microwave. For the microwave, place the white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring after each increment until completely melted and smooth. Dip each completely cooled cookie halfway into the white chocolate and place onto a parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top of the chocolate. Repeat with the rest of the cooled cookies. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator to help the chocolate set. Once set, enjoy!

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Baked cookies (without white chocolate and candy cane) freeze well – up to three months.  Decorate after they thaw out. Cookie dough balls freeze well too – up to three months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for about 10 minutes. No need to thaw them. For more information, read my tips on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Chill Cookie Dough! Make sure you chill the cookie dough for at least 3 hours. The longer, the better! Chilling helps the flavors develop, prevent spreading, and makes the otherwise sticky cookie dough easy to handle.
  3. Double Batch: This recipe can easily be doubled.

Keywords: peppermint mocha cookies, mocha cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. My friends and I have made this at our annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day for YEARS. We always triple the batch to split among us.
    This year, we did the cookie day over Zoom and I made these. Then I made a triple batch AGAIN a week later for doorstop cookie deliveries to friends.
    Here’s my pro tip: THESE BAKE FOR 9 MINUTES. They won’t seem done. They’re so dark. TRUST THE COOKIES. I did 11 the first day and they were too dry within a couple of days. 9 minute cookies were moist much longer. My friend made these again later and followed my 9-minute tip and agreed.

    The white chocolate dip isn’t *necessarily* per say, but man it is GOOD and helps the cookies retain moisture.

    1. We don’t see why not! You may want to bake them at a slightly lower temperature to ensure they bake through evenly, but we haven’t tested that with these cookies. Let us know what you try!

  2. These cookies are delicious! I’ve made them every Christmas for the past few years, and they are always a favorite! I’ve omitted the white chocolate and peppermint a few times, and they still turn out perfectly. Definitely recommend!

  3. My grocery store was all out of peppermint extract so I substituted the regular semi sweet chocolate chips for mint chocolate chips and they tasted awesome! It added the perfect amount of peppermint to the cookies without being over done, so don’t be discouraged if your grocery store is also sold out. Mint chocolate chips were a great substitute . Very yummy cookies !!!

  4. I would like to make these but don’t have peppermint extract. I do have culinary safe peppermint essential oil. Would I be able to add that instead and if so, how much do you recommend?

    1. Hi Andrea, We haven’t tested the cookies with peppermint oil. You can try it but just keep in mind that the oil is much stronger than extract so you would only need the tiniest amount!

  5. Hi! Have you ever used Dutch process cocoa powder with these instead of regular unsweetened cocoa powder? I have a recipe from another site that calls for it but I know and trust your recipes, so I’d rather use yours but I have already purchased the Dutch process cocoa powder.

    1. Hi April! Because this recipe uses baking soda, it’s best to stick with natural unsweetened cocoa powder here.

      1. I already made the dough with Dutch process before I read the comment. Should I throw away and start over?

      2. Hi Brenda, how did your cookies turn out? I also just made a batch w dutch process! Whoops

    1. Hi Kristin, I wish we could help, but have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

    1. Hi Gail! Absolutely- you can omit the added 1/8 tsp salt in the recipe if using salted butter.

  6. Thank you Sally! Is there a substitute for the expresso? I am not a mocha fan but would love to try the recipe or maybe there is another recipe I should try?

  7. Great tasting cookies! My white chocolate would not liquify well for the cookies to be dipped. What is your advice?

    1. Hi Connie! Make sure to use high quality white chocolate (not chips, which don’t melt well) for dipping these cookies. You could try adding 1/2 – 1 tsp of oil (coconut oil works well) to the white chocolate to help it thin and melt better. Hope this helps!

  8. Hi, because it has espresso, can children eat this? Or does them make them caffeinated?

    1. I think the kids will be fine. It’s the amount of coffee/caffeine in a cup spread out over 20 cookies. You could always leave it out if you felt uncomfortable. But they are delicious as is and I think all would be fine.

  9. One of my newest favorites! The only issue I am having is figuring out when to take them out of the oven. I slightly burned some last time… how do you test chocolate cookies to know when they are done baking?

    1. Hi Kari! It’s definitely more difficult with chocolate cookies – we look for set edges with soft centers.

  10. I made these for a Christmas cookie bake-off at work this week and won 1st place by a landslide! So so good! Splurge on the white chocolate (I used Lindt – it’s worth it) and don’t overbake.

  11. I’ve made these for the past few years and every one loves them. I have added Bailey Chico chips but this year I found espresso chips from tollhouse.

    I forgot coco powder is the recipe done without it or do I need to add more flour?

  12. Hi there, has anyone tried making this with gluten-free flour? I’m not sure if it would work or not.

    1. Hi Sophie, We do not have much experience using gluten free flour. Although some readers report using an all purpose 1:1 gluten free flour in many of our recipes with success, you should expect slightly different results.

  13. Hi,
    if I wanted to make 3 dozen will I just up everything? For example: The half cup salted butter I would use 1 and 1/2 cups, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar would then turn into 1 1/2 and etc, correct? Just want to make sure!!

    1. Hi Jessica, doubling or tripling the recipe should work if you have a mixer that can handle the large amount of dough. But we usually suggest making separate batches to avoid over or under-mixing the dough and to avoid overwhelming your mixer. Let us know what you try!

      1. Thanks! I’ll just do separate batches even tho it might be more work. Would rather not mess it up

  14. I made with cacao powder instead of cocoa – perhaps it is the same – and they came out great. I wanted to make more without running to the store – can I substitute dark unsweetened baking chocolate for the cocoa powder?

    1. Hi Valeria! That would take some testing to get right, let us know if you try it!

  15. These cookies were delicious! I usually stick to the same cookies for my Christmas cookies (sugar cookies, gingerbread, thumbprint, a bar of some sort) and then like to try something new each year. These were by far my favorite that I made this year. The peppermint is just right, not too minty but “cool” tasting. I had the dough sit for a day, so the coffee flavor wasn’t too pronounced, but just made it taste awesome. Loved the white chocolate with the crunchy peppermint. Definitely make these if you want something different, pretty and yummy!

  16. I used a flax egg and pressed them into a pan for bars and they turned out amazingly!

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