Peppermint Mocha Cookies

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!

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
  • 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

  • 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

89 Comments

  1. I just have to tell you, this recipe is my FAVORITE Christmas cookie! Ever. I absolutely adore these cookies! THANK YOU. <3

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!!

  6. 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?

    1. Hi Jill! Here are all my instructions for how to freeze cookie dough. No need tp thaw before baking. I hope you find the post helpful!

  7. If I subbed in white choc/peppermint chunks into the chocolate cookie, would that work well… instead of dipping?

    1. I don’t see why not! Sounds delicious… and easy!

  8. Kelly Cameron says:

    Sally, I made these last weekend for a Christmas party and they were a hit! I didn’t use the espresso powder and added a little bit of peppermint extract to the white chocolate. The cookies were the perfect amount of peppermint and the texture is heavenly! This recipe will be going in my “Tried and True” folder for future use. Thank you again for your baking information and prowess. I know I can count on your recipes and often refer this site to friends. Happy Holidays!

  9. Sally – help! I made this dough last night and will be baking Thursday for a party on Friday. So, I put the dough (formed into balls) into the freezer until then. I didn’t chill the dough prior to bc I thought it wasn’t necessary if I was just freezing it 🙁 now I think that may be wrong? I placed the balls in the freezer for 15 mins to solidify before putting them in a large ziplock. Will they be ok?

    1. They’ll be just fine! You can bake the dough balls from the freezer– just add another minute or 2 to the bake time.

  10. My husband doesn’t like coffee flavored items. Can I make these leaving out the espresso or do I need to substitute with anything?

    1. Hi Dani, you can leave it out!

  11. Melissa A Kabler says:

    These turned out great! I agree to leave out the peppermint extract if you want to taste the mocha with a touch of peppermint. Very pretty and delicious!

  12. Love these cookies! They are so christmassy and delicious. Not only are they beautiful, they are so good! Definitely worth the time!

  13. Hi Sally! I am so excited to make these – they look delicious! However, I’m not the biggest fan of white chocolate. Would it be much different to use dark chocolate instead? Thank you!!

    Love all your recipes, I always look here for recipes when baking!

    1. No difference at all! Simply replace the white chocolate with melted semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate. 🙂

  14. Hi Sally,

    Would it be possible to use margarine instead of butter? Or does the butter make the cookie? Thanks

    1. I don’t recommend using margarine. If you need a dairy free alternative, try solid coconut oil.

  15. You said the cookies can be frozen without the white chocolate and candy cane. Is there any reason they could not be frozen with the chocolate and candy cane already done?

    1. Hi Valerie! Yes they can be frozen with the white chocolate and candy canes, but the topping tastes (and looks!) best when it hasn’t been frozen/thawed. Sometimes thawed candy canes release a little sugary liquid.

  16. Rebecca Griffith says:

    Amazing! Turned out exactly like the picture! And tasted like a peppermint bark brownie which is exactly as described!

  17. Sally, these are absolutely delicious! Soft and chewy and very addictive. Will be a traditional Christmas treat. Thank you so much!

  18. Hi Sally,
    I just made the dough with mint extract instead of peppermint accidentally! Will they be ok, or will they taste too “toothpasty”?

    1. Hi Paula, Such an easy mistake to make! Go ahead and taste the dough (or just bake one cookie to taste it) and you will know right away if the mint flavor is ok!

  19. Hi Sally – First, I love your blog and recipes! I made these cookies a couple of years ago for a cookie exchange and had no issues. However, I made them this weekend and something wasn’t quite right – they were delicious, of course, but some were too thick in the center and seemed under baked, and then were too thin around the edges to the point of breaking when I went to dip them. I did chill the dough, but perhaps the balls warmed up too much before I baked them? Also, I did have to use some Dutch process cocoa because I ran out of regular, do you think that would have effected them? Also, I had to use salted butter and just omitted the salt. Lastly – in investigating where I went wrong, I noticed that your chocolate crinkle cookies get baked for 10-11 minutes and these only get baked for 8-9 minutes. Just curious why that is! Thank you SO much for any thoughts you might have 🙂

    1. Hi Beth! So glad you tried these cookies. I recommend following the recipe exactly including using ALL natural cocoa (the dutch process will affect how the cookies rise and bake up) and keeping the salt in the cookie dough, even if you’re using salted butter. (Trust me on that one!) Bake the cookies until the edges appear set, even if that means a couple extra minutes. All ovens are different!

      Finally, you can chill the rolled cookie dough balls for another 20 minutes (or however long the oven takes to pre-heat) before popping in the oven. This always helps!

  20. Made these yesterday and they are amazing! Wondering if I could turn them into brownies?

    1. Hi Jessica! You could definitely add peppermint extract and espresso powder to a pan of homemade brownies. Or try baking this recipe as cookie bars in a 9×9 inch baking pan.

  21. Super Awesome! Everyone loved it-from the kids to the recipients! Eye catching and the delicious aroma is so enticing. It takes more time and effort, but the taste and love in the cookies is just outstanding! Ive made a single batch then a quadruple batch. Totally worth it! Youve been printed, bookmarked and shared!

  22. Hi Sally, do you know if natural cacao powder would work instead of cocoa?

    1. Hi Rennae! You can substitute cacao for natural cocoa, but cacao’s flavor is stronger and more bitter. You may want to use a little less than a 1:1 substitution and add flour in its place.

  23. Hi Sally. I’ve made dozens of your recipes – I love your site. This was my first fail. My cookies were not flat but more pyramid shaped and crumby. Any idea what I did wrong? I did double the recipe ? Thank you

    1. Oh no! I’m happy to help. I’m wondering if something was missed when you doubled the recipe– or if the large batch of dough was over or under-mixed. When cookies aren’t spreading as much, it’s important to look at the flour/dry ingredients. It’s best to spoon and level the flour– and, while you’re at it, the cocoa powder as well. Do not pack either into the measuring cups. You can also try reducing the chill time so the cookie dough balls are stickier when they go into the oven. This will lead to more spreading. I hope all of this helps if you decide to try the recipe again.

      And it might be best to make 2 batches separately just to avoid this happening again. Thanks Lisa!

  24. These cookies are hands down one of the best tasting cookies I’ve ever made! Followed recipe exactly, but left out peppermint extract. Refrigerated dough for 2 days. Fudgy, soft, Minty, dreamy!!!! Thanks so much for this recipe!

  25. I just made these and the taste is great by my cookies didn’t deflate at all. I chilled them for about 15 hours. What do you think happened?

    1. Hi Michelle! Did you change any of the ingredients at all? The flour could have been over-measured. Make sure you are spooning and leveling it into the measuring cup. Too much flour absorbs all the liquid so the cookies are less likely to spread.

  26. I made these this year as part of my holiday cookie dessert platter. they were delicious and your instructions are perfectly detailed. they were soft and tasty the first day. I refrigerated finished cookies for a few days till chrsitmas and christmas day they were as hard as a rock. any ideas what went wrong?

    1. Were they hard after they came back to room temperature? I’m wondering if they just were not covered tightly enough when they were in the refrigerator?

  27. My first time making these cookies. Doubled the recipe and followed the instructions exactly and they turned out super!! They are delicious and look so festive. Everyone loved them. (I used Cafe Bustelo instant coffee espresso single serve packets. Seem to work just fine!)
    Thank you!

  28. These cookies are awesome!!! Just baked my first batch and fell in love with the plain cookie! I will freeze the rest and dip in them in the white chocolate & peppermint a couple days before Christmas.

  29. These cookies may taste good, but they are messy, and are not easy to make…. totally not worth it!.

  30. AMAZING! My all-time favorite holiday cookies! I make the dough the night before, then bake and decorate after the cookies have cooled. Everyone loves them!

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