Peppermint Mocha Cookies

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Have your peppermint mocha and eat it too.

Soft-baked and chewy peppermint mocha cookies! The candy cane crunch and white chocolate put them over the top! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Hey Monday! I’m back in Philly after a quick trip to Texas for my book tour. I’m all done for 2015. What a trip. Or should I say, 10 trips. This week I’m sleeping in, staying in my pajamas, getting back into my running routine (can I run in my PJs???), decorating the Christmas tree, and baking Christmas cookies until I’m tired of baking Christmas cookies. Which is NEVER.

I’m so excited to be home that I’m going to skip Jude instead of walk Jude. Should I sing a little tune as we skip down the street too? My poor neighbors. This post is weird. I’m going to put down my wine now. So what’s new with you? What did you do bake this weekend?

Before I left for Texas last week, I made a few new cookie recipes to share in my Christmas cookie palooza. First up this week are my soul-warming peppermint mocha cookies. Just like an actual peppermint mocha, but better. Because they’re COOKIES. That you can eat alongside your actual peppermint mocha and literally be the queen (or king!) of peppermint mocha things.

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I was inspired to make today’s cookies after I whipped up my double chocolate crinkles and these mocha cheesecake brownies. I made the two on the same day and it dawned on me… hey Sal why not combine them in some glorious way?*  Before I knew it, I was throwing espresso powder and peppermint extract together and  crushing every candy cane I could find in a 5 mile radius. Oh my lanta! The end result was insane! In fact, my friend said “these are the best thing to happen to Christmas cookies.” And that’s a direct quote.

*I talk to myself.

Soft-baked and chewy peppermint mocha cookies! The candy cane crunch and white chocolate put them over the top! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s talk about the recipe. You probably recognize the chocolate cookie dough. It’s my basic chocolate cookie dough, which is what I use to make the chocolate crinkle cookies I linked above and every chocolate cookie creation to come out of my kitchen. The reason I use it all the time? It’s the epitome of chocolate cookies. This magical dough creates 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?)

These cookies taste like fudgy brownies.

Which is the main reason I treasure this chocolate cookie dough recipe.

To turn things up a notch, I add two special ingredients to the chocolate cookie dough: peppermint extract and espresso powder. These are what give the cookies their peppermint mocha flavor. Always be careful using peppermint extract. That stuff is 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.

Soft-baked and chewy peppermint mocha cookies! The candy cane crunch and white chocolate put them over the top! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

For the espresso powder– if you can’t find this stuff in stores, you can use instant coffee instead. (Which is found in nearly all major grocery stores.) 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. You can also find it online. And throw it into your mocha cheesecake brownies too. Don’t use ground coffee; ground coffee isn’t nearly as flavorful as espresso powder or instant coffee. Both of which have super concentrated flavor.

Soft-baked and chewy peppermint mocha cookies! The candy cane crunch and white chocolate put them over the top! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Besides these two, I add mini chocolate chips for extreme chocolate flavor. (How much chocolate is too much chocolate?) Sometimes I prefer mini chocolate chips over the regular size because you get more mini chips in a cookie! Though regular size is totally fine in these peppermint mocha cookies.

To make these cookies really stand out on my holiday cookie trays, I add some decor. It’s so easy: just melt some pure white chocolate, give the cooled cookies a nice dunk, and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. The cookies are fabulous without the white chocolate dunk, but why not add a little pizazz? The bites with the white chocolate and candy cane crush are THE BEST.

Sorry for doing this to you on a Monday.

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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 (53g) 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

Directions:

  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 8-9 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!

Make ahead tip: 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.

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Want more mocha/mint ideas? Try my mocha mint chocolate chunk cookies!

Mocha Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

And my peppermint mocha cupcakes, of course.

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Soft-baked and chewy peppermint mocha cookies! The candy cane crunch and white chocolate put them over the top!
Soft-baked and chewy peppermint mocha cookies! The candy cane crunch and white chocolate put them over the top!

166 Comments

All Comments

  1. I made these today and followed the recipe exactly but my cookies never flattened they just tuned out to be tiny. Any reason why that would happen? I’m still excited to taste them!

    1. Hi Grace! You can try gently pressing them down midway through baking. Remove them from the oven, use a spoon to flatten them out a bit, and return to the oven. Sometimes that’s what I do. I find that happens when the dough is TOO cold and won’t spread.

  2. Made these yesterday and they were a huge hit!! I’d never worked with peppermint extract, so I was pretty nervous about overdoing it and ending up with mouthwash-flavored cookies or something, but it ended up being perfect. I wonder if they’d be good with white chocolate chips, or maybe dipped in a mocha-flavored white chocolate?

  3. I am glad I read the reviews I flattened mine with a spoon halfway in and it came out perfect I tried many different chocolate cookies and I’m never happy with that because I never quite chocolatey enough these are absolutely perfect just like your description it’s one recipe I will be making going forward

  4. Just made these today after them being on my “to bake” list for a couple weeks. They came out great and everyone loves them! They are the perfect Christmas cookies. Thanks Sally!

  5. In the rush to make & chill the dough so I could be baking something else, wrapping presents, cleaning the house, etc., I inadvertently used a full cup of butter but the correct amount of the other ingredients. Do you think it would work if I just made a dough of all ingredients but butter and added it to room temperature dough and then re-chill? I realize it’ll be pretty dry before mixing it in but what do you think?

  6. SALLY, YOU DEVIL! I made two batches of these this holiday season and they were a crackerjack WHIZZBANG! Everybody loved them. In my first batch, I found the coffee note a bit strong (I used 1 TBSP instant granules) but they were still quite edible and delicious. On the second batch I reduced the coffee to 1.5 teaspoons and this pleased me greatly.

    A totally indulgent cookie with a PERFECT BALANCE of chocolate to peppermint. Don’t hesitate to make this one! Thanks, Sally!

  7. I have a question. So if you use coffee granulates instead of espresso do you just throw it in with the flour like you would the espresso?

  8. I’ve made these cookies three times in the last month (first time I left them naked; I just wanted to test the cookie base to made sure it really stayed soft before making them for a bake sale. Happy to report that unlike most chocolate cookie recipes which quickly dry out, these remained soft for 3+ days). The next two times I dipped them in white chocolate and added the crushed candy canes. They turned out beautifully and were a success at the bake sale. The only thing I changed in the recipe was leaving out the espresso because the bake sale was aimed at young families who probably didn’t want their kids to enjoy a caffeine buzz in addition to a sugar high ;). 
    I’ve also had good results from the Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow from this site. 

    The proceeds from the church bake sale are providing Christmas stockings for children in families in our area who are having a tough year, so I appreciate your contribution of solid, well-tested recipes! 🙂

  9. Amazing cookies! Only adjustments I made (1) didn’t add the instant coffee; didn’t have any, (2) didnt bother dunking the cooled cookie in white chocolate/peppermint pieces however, (3) instead of adding chocolate chips to the mix I added Andes mint baking pieces. OMG I am trying my hardest not to eat them all same night of baking ’em!

  10. Hey, I followed the directions and ingredients to the letter and they spread and became incredibly thin instead of needing flattening out. Where did I go wrong? 

    1. The exact same thing happened to me! When they came out of the oven they were a nice full cookie like the picture, but as they cooled they became extremely thin with lumpy chocolate chips! Still taste delicious, but Sally – what could have caused this spreading? Butter too warm when making the dough? Help!!

      1. Make sure you’re chilling the cookie dough for at least 3 hours. Too warm butter OR over-creamed butter/sugar could very well be the reason. Make sure the butter is soft, but not overly warm. About 1 hour at room temperature (from the fridge) is enough. Also, you can try adding 2 Tbsp of flour to the cookie dough. This will help soak up some of the liquid in the cookie dough, which is the reason it’s spreading too much!

  11. Hey, I put the correct ingredients and followed the directions properly but they turned out super thin. What did I do wrong? 
    It did taste amazing though.

  12. I’m wanting to make these for friends/family this holiday season, but I am no fan of peppermint! Would it be okay adding more vanilla instead of peppermint, or will that not turn out?? Thanks! 

  13. Sally I absolutely love these cookies! I made them last year and they were my favorite!! I have a question….. I was wondering if I could attempt to roll this dough out and make cut outs with it? Thought I could use my kitten shape and dip the bottom of the mitten in white chocolate. What do you think?

  14. I made these tonight for a cookie exchange. They are delicious. Followed the directions and chilled the dough overnight and they were perfect. Thanks for the great recipe.

  15. This is the second Christmas I’ve made these. They are SO good! My husband is gluten intolerant so I made them (both times) with gluten free flour (pillsbury blend) and they turn out so perfect! I never expect things to really turn out well when I sub gluten free flour but these are amazing! Just wanted to share in case that’s helpful for anyone else!

  16. These were really yummy and beautiful! I actually just took one that a baked last week and was getting a little on the hard side and broke it up into vanilla ice cream. Oh my goodness! It was insanely good.

  17. Definitely the prettiest cookies on the plate, and they taste SO YUMMY too. This is the 2nd year I’ve made these for Christmas, and everyone loves them. I make this recipe exactly as written, and they are perfect. Great recipe!

  18. Gave bags of these as Christmas gifts and they were a hit! In the second batch, I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa and increased to 1.5T instant coffee for a stronger mocha flavor. Thanks, Sally!!!

  19. Would it work to freeze the dough then bring it to room temperature before baking? Is there a way you recommend packaging the dough for freezing?

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  1. Would it work to freeze the dough then bring it to room temperature before baking? Is there a way you recommend packaging the dough for freezing?

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