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!

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

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!

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

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?)

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

How to Make Peppermint Mocha Cookies

I love baking cookies year-round, but especially during the holiday season. These are quick, easy, and always a hit! Let’s run through the process:

  1. Cream the wet ingredients together.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. 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.

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

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

Peppermint Mocha Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 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 (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

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 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!

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

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!

196 Comments

  1. I would love to bake these and ship them to my grandchildren across the US along with the other Christmas cookies. Would they be too soft to ship?

  2. Hi Sally,
    These cookies look amazing!! I am planning on adding them to my list of Christmas cookies and, making them this week.
    I’m wondering is it necessary to add the chocolate chips to the dough or can they be omitted or,will it alter the chocolatetiness?
    Thank you
    Sally

  3. Hello! I love your blog and am planning to make these cookies this weekend. Out of curiosity, do you have a brand or type of white chocolate you recommend using?

  4. I noticed you said they freeze well without the chocolate. I plan on using these for my cookie exchange this year and was wondering if you tried freezing them once they are finished. I know some of the girls are planning on freezing some cookies. Thanks! 

  5. Unmade these this week and they are amazing. If I make them smaller should I cook them for a shorter time? I need to make 6 dozen for a cookie swap and want to stretch the dough. 

  6. I made these yesterday (followed the recipe exactly, using the instant coffee granules option). Mine probably weren’t as pretty as yours, a I let my kids do the dipping/peppermint, but they are probably my favorite cookies. Ever. From anywhere. I LOVE mint chocolate and these are EVERYTHING. Thanks so much, and Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Savanna, I find that mint extract tastes more like toothpaste than true mint. Just my opinion! I always reach for peppermint instead.

  7. These cookies look fab!! I plan on making them for a cookie exchange. approximately how many cookies does one recipe make?
    Thanks! 

  8. I made just the basic cookies, without the white chocolate and candy cane sprinkle, because I could not get them out of my head; they were so delicious, and I think they may be the best cookie I have ever made! I will absolutely make these again, maybe even with the “extras” next time!
    Thank you!

  9. Would sticking the candy canes in a food processor to break them down injure the food processor and/or myself? I can’t get these suckers to break down well with a rolling pin.

    1. I know this sounds crazy, but if you bang the rolling pin on the candy canes (inside the plastic bag) that helps instead of rolling. I’ve tried the food processor and it doesn’t help at all.

    2. I have a Ninja and while my sister and I have not made these particular cookies before, a few pulses in the Ninja and candy canes are perfectly chopped. So anyone with a Ninja is good to go.

  10. I made these last night and they are delicious! But next time I make them, I will omit the peppermint extract. I can’t really taste the mocha flavour as it is totally overpowered by the peppermint. I think the dash of candy canes are enough! Otherwise beautiful cookies.

  11. My new favorite Christmas cookies! I made these for the school cookie sale, and they’re awesome! I was a little worried at first because I didn’t like how the raw cookie dough tasted or the baked cookies without the white chocolate. But they tasted great with the white chocolate and candy sprinkles. And they look so nice. Thank you for the recipe! I also liked making the dough one day and then baking and assembling the second day. It made it feel like less work.

  12. Followed the recipe exactly, double and triple checked and these completely melted and turned into puddles in the over. Any thoughts?

  13. Help! I made the dough yesterday, let it sit out for awhile today and when I baked them they didn’t spread out? What did I do wrong?

  14. I want to make these this weekend, but I’m not sure where to find espresso powder. Where do you get yours? Will the recipe be effected without it? And do you prefer light or dark brown sugar in this recipe? I have both and wasn’t sure which to use. Thanks, Sally!

    1. Hi Beth, You can use either light or dark brown sugar. I can find espresso powder in my regular grocery store with the coffees. If you can’t find it you can sub 1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules.

  15. I liked these cookies a lot. My only silly complaint is they are big cookies if you make them per the instructions which I don’t like for Christmas cookies because there are so many sweets floating around this time of year. I mistakenly bought pre-crushed candy canes which I do not recommend. I will be crushing my own next time.

  16. I made these tonight and they were delicious! I changed a few things and they still turned out AH-MAZING! 

    1. I omitted the peppermint and espresso. They were just straight chocolate cookies and the taste is divine.
    2. I am not a fan of semi sweet chocolate chips so I used milk chocolate chips and man does it make it sweet and delicious. 
    3. After I mixed them I rolled them into their balls then I put them in the fridge so that you don’t have to wait the 20min to get warm enough to roll you really want them straight out of the fridge and into the oven. 
    4. They are a hit. Thanks for the amazing recipe 🙂

  17. Sally, these look incredible! I tried a recipe for “brownie cookies” (from a different source) yesterday but was not impressed with the overly chewy edges. I like the looks of your recipe! I won’t have a chance to test bake before Christmas at this point… is this recipe worth it? Need help!

    1. I just made these last night and I even had a friend say they taste like brownies. You should try them! The edges are a little crisp, not too chewy.

  18. I made these and they came out great! The only change I made was I swapped out the crushed candy canes for festive sprinkles (the candy canes hurt my teeth). Oh and don’t eat the batter: it tastes weird and is NOT an indication of how delicious the cookies really are.

  19. These turned out great for me and were so deliciously decadent!  The espresso just brings out the chocolate flavor and the mint was just right.  You have some great recipes!

  20. Did anyone use white chocolate chips instead of white chocolate bar? I don’t usually swap these two forms of chocolate, but I have some leftover WC chips from another recipe. Thanks.

  21. I spy baking soda, so based on your excellent cocoa article in Baking Basics, we are going with natural cocoa powder instead of Dutch-processed or the blend. Right?

  22. Hi Sally! I bought Ferrara instant espresso coffee because I could not find anything that just said “espresso powder.” Should I stick to one tablespoon or the 2 teaspoon option? Thanks!

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