Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies

Soft and chewy white chocolate peppermint cookies are as festive as they are delicious. Loaded with white chocolate chips and crushed candy canes, these holiday cookies are always a crowd pleaser!

overhead image of peppermint white chocolate cookies drizzled with white chocolate

There is no flavor duo quite like chocolate and peppermint. Well, until you taste today’s cookie. Move over chocolate, white chocolate has the throne today.

White chocolate peppermint cookies are super festive with crushed candy canes, plenty of vanilla and white chocolate, and a fresh dose of Christmas’ favorite flavor: peppermint! Every December, I go through more bottles of McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract than I care to admit and have mild (ok major) freak outs when my stash is too low. (Use up any leftover peppermint extract in peppermint mocha cookies, peppermint bark, and white chocolate peppermint cupcakes).

Let’s get started!

overhead image of peppermint white chocolate cookies on a white plate

Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies Video

hands holding a bottle of peppermint extract

Ingredients in Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies

These peppermint white chocolate cookies are a chocolate chip/sugar cookie hybrid. They have that light and sweet flavor of a sugar cookie with a buttery brown sugar chew of a chocolate chip cookie. Two cookie worlds colliding in one delicious circle. Here’s what you need to make these peppermint cookies:

  • Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour is the base of these cookies.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch adds chewiness.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the cookies rise.
  • Salt: Salt adds flavor.
  • Butter: Butter is essential for a buttery, flavorful cookie. Make sure it’s softened to proper room temperature before beginning.
  • Sugar: We use both brown sugar and granulated sugar in these cookies. I love the combination.
  • Egg: One egg binds everything together.
  • Vanilla & Peppermint Extracts: Both extracts add flavor– but the cookie dough gets most of its flavor from McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract. Peppermint extract is quite potent, so we’ll only use 3/4 teaspoon of it– a little goes a long way.
  • White Chocolate Chips: Can’t have white chocolate cookies without white chocolate chips!
  • Candy Canes: We use crushed candy canes in these cookies– which lose their crunch and actually impart an intensely chewy “chunk” inside of the baked cookies. The cookies have this entirely unique texture, which makes it nearly impossible to eat just one.

Baker’s Tip: I find the best way to crush candy canes is to use (1) a zipped top bag and (2) a rolling pin. Roll over the candy canes, crushing them up real good, and toss them into the soft cookie dough with the white chocolate chips. You’ll feel like a weirdo, but it works.

hands using a rolling pin to crush candy canes in a zip-top bag

peppermint white chocolate cookie dough in a glass stand mixer bowl and cookie dough rolled into balls on a silpat baking mat

These cookies were screaming for white chocolate on top and I wasn’t about to fight them on it. A drizzle of white chocolate puts the finishing crown on top of these peppermint beauties. And confession: even though we’re focusing on white chocolate today, these cookies taste miraculous with dark chocolate drizzled on top too.

overhead image of peppermint white chocolate cookies drizzled with white chocolate

Why You’ll Love These Peppermint Cookies

So much to love about these festive cookies! They’re:

  • Extra soft and buttery
  • Chewy and have tons of texture in every bite
  • Perfectly peppermint flavored
  • A great make-ahead cookie– chill the dough for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days
  • A delicious and unique option for cookie exchanges– they always disappear instantly whenever I serve them!
  • Incredibly festive
  • A little crunchy (but not too crunchy) from the candy canes
  • Drizzled with white chocolate for a little something extra

peppermint white chocolate cookies on a white plate

More Festive Christmas Cookies

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overhead image of peppermint white chocolate cookies drizzled with white chocolate

Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Soft and chewy peppermint cookies with white chocolate and candy canes are festive, delicious, and easy!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup (135g) white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed candy cane pieces (5 candy canes)
  • 4 ounces (113g) white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the white chocolate chips and crushed candy cane, then mix for about 5 seconds until combined. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  4. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  5. Once chilled, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Roll balls of dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each, into balls.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
  7. If using, melt the chopped white chocolate in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring after each until completely melted. Drizzle over cooled cookies.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: peppermint white chocolate cookies, peppermint cookies

41 Comments

  1. Whitney Smith says:

    These are delicious!! I ran out of peppermint extract (don’t worry I will get more STAT) so I left it out and just put in 2 teaspoons of vanilla and these are still delightful with just a hint of mint from the candy cane. Mine aren’t as pretty as yours so I think I will chill longer next time. Great recipe!

  2. Oh no! Sally, can you help me out?  Mine cooked down to paper thin. What did I do wrong? They still taste delicious though. Thanks!

    1. Hi Heather! Try adding an extra 2-3 Tbsp of flour next time you bake. This should help! Don’t forget to chill the dough, too.

  3. I made 3 batches of these cookies, because I kept messing up! The first time I baked, I accidentally used baking powder and not baking soda, but the cookies turned out great – they looked very much like your picture, only maybe a little thicker. The 2nd batch, I did the baking soda as per the recipe, and I forgot the salt. The cookies spread a lot more and didn’t look as pretty. The 3rd batch, I did everything ‘right’, and still the cookies spread a lot and weren’t as pretty. All 3 recipes were chilled well – a couple days each. They all tasted great, but my favorite result, as they were the best-looking, were the ones I added baking poweder to instead of baking soda. What are your thoughts, Sally? When you were coming up with this recipe, did you ever try baking powder instead of soda?

    1. Hi Cheri! Did you use natural unsweetened cocoa when making these cookies? Because that is the type of cocoa to be used with the baking soda. If you used another kind, like dutch-process cocoa, I’m not surprised batches 2 and 3 spread! I’ve tried these with baking powder AND they always spread too much! So that’s why baking soda, paired with the natural cocoa, is preferred.

  4. I am currently enjoying one of these cookies in my pj’s. My only complaint about this recipe is that it doesn’t make enough cookies, because they are perfection! Though I have about a bazillion cookies on my Christmas baking list, these WILL be making a return appearance! I used the Andes peppermint baking chips instead of the candy canes and they are perfectly minty. They might even give the white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles a run for their money as my new favorite cookie of all time!

  5. So, we had an annual bake sale for our local library and I decided to make these as a last minute addition. These were AMAZING. My new favorite cookie all the way. Even my Aunt who is a baker loved them. Didn’t have any white chocolate to melt but I did have some dark chocolate so I used that for the drizzle on top. Ohmygosh white chocolate, dark chocolate, and peppermint. A trifecta!

  6. I made these 3 times and while I love the flavor, mine turned out very flat. I normally have good judgment with the dough to have fluffy cookies and all 3 times thought the dough was perfect. Followed directions precisely and chilled. Used the same ingredients for some other cookies of yours and all turned out fantastic!! So I can’t imagine it was my ingredients. 

    Could the consistency of candy canes impact if they spread? I used a food processor the first 2 times and then bought crushed candy canes the second. I am wondering if mine were too finely ground and that’s why they spread so much!! 

    1. Hey Allie! I just made these cookies again yesterday. It’s always nice to remake my recipes, especially when it’s been a whole year. Anyway, the crushed candy canes are pure sugar– so yes, they will induce spread. Especially if they are crushed up too finely. If you keep the candy cane pieces a little larger, the dough won’t absorb them as much. And, in turn, won’t over-spread.

  7. I have made these cookies the last two Christmas’s and I have to say that this seems to be a favorite. I have made 4 batches already so far and have been asked for the recipe!! Thanks Sally!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  8. Sally—

    I just love Andes Peppermint baking chips….do you think I could use them instead of the candy canes??? If so…how much?

    1. Sure can! I would add 1 heaping cup of the andes baking chips to the cookie dough 🙂

  9. Lanae Bartlett says:

    Hey there Sally,
    Dang, I really need some help. I made two batches of this recipe. I’m dead set on making it work. But for the life of me, I don’t know what’s going wrong! My first batch came out burnt, like black on the bottom, smokey oven burnt. The second batch I vowed to not let that happen so I chilled the batter for about 5 hours instead of the two. When I checked them 10 minutes into baking and the edges were so dark! Ii just took em out before history repeated itself. Leaving the centers a little raw and the edges dark brown. Super delicious flavors, but not right.
    What am I doing? Any ideas? Or do I just need to buy a new oven lol

    1. Hi Lanae! Two things.
      1) Don’t crush up those candy canes too much. The sugar in them could be the culprit behind the burnt edges.
      2) Do you use an oven thermometer? I fear your oven’s temperature is a little off!! Too hot, perhaps? That would explain the uneven baking and burnt edges/bottom. Try lowering the oven temp to 325F. And let me know how that goes.

  10. These cookies are great!! I just wanted to post a tip for anyone having issues with spreading: put the candy canes through a fine mesh sieve after crushing them up. Then you’ll only have larger pieces leftover and won’t have issues with extra sugar.

  11. Big Fan! Have made many, many of your recipes before. This is the first time my cookies didn’t look just like the cookies in your picture. The cookies spread and were very thin. I like your recipes because the cookies are always thick (but cooked) with browned edges. I read through all the comments first. I weigh my ingredients. I used room temperature (but not too soft) butter and a room temperature egg. I used a strainer to remove the small pieces of candy cane and any dust since this appeared to be the biggest issue in the comment section. I chilled the dough for 6 hours in the coldest back part of my fridge. I used a #40 cookie scoop to measure. I used parchment paper to cook them on instead of Silpat because I’ve notice the slicker surface of Silpat increases spread sometimes. I have an oven thermometer to verify my oven temperature of 350 degrees. I only baked one sheet at a time in the center of my oven. Yet despite all of these precautions, I had thin, spread out cookies. Not the worst ever but not the usual beautiful cookies that your recipes always have delivered. I would appreciate any other suggestions to reduce the spreading. My son picked this recipe for me to make himself because he thought they would be sooo good and I would love to make them again and have them come out “picture” perfect.

    1. Hi Leigh! I’m so sorry you experienced over-spreading. That’s SO frustrating, I completely get it. I recommend adding 2-3 extra Tbsp of flour. Many factors are at play here, but that trick always helps. You can also see my tips to fix over-spreading cookies for extra help: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/tips-for-cookie-spreading/

  12. Lisa Sharpless says:

    I just made these cookies last weekend and they are seriously the best thing ever! Everyone who tries them loves them, so it’s a keeper for sure! This is my second year to do Sally’s Cookie Palooza and it’s my new favorite Christmas tradition. I love having a freezer stocked with cookie dough ready to be baked during the Christmas season!

  13. Am making these for the first time- have the dough in the fridge now. So excited, the dough tastes amazing- cant wait!

  14. Oh Sally! This may make your day! I commented last December that these cookies replaced our usual favorite recipe. Well, I mixed up 2 batches yesterday and decided to refrigerate the batter. Today I took the dough out and thought it looked a little strange. Here’s the best part…I did chop the white Chocolate bars but added it to the dough!☹️But I was not going to waste the dough so I went ahead and the cookies are delicious!

  15. Sally, these cookies are fabulous!!! My family absolutely adored them, and so did I! Candy canes are definitely not weird in cookies, they are great! You are right about how they go chewy instead of staying hard, and the result is a wonderful texture contrast. I will be making these again, they are now my favorite Christmas cookie. They look very festive as well. I was wondering if I could use the base dough and add different add-ins, like Smarties or mini marshmallows? I want to make these again throughout the year when candy canes aren’t in season. Could I do that? Thanks.

  16. Hi Sally,

    My cookies had great flavour, however I found the candy canes difficult to work with. They leaked out the sides and bottom of my cookies, and caused some of them to spread too thin (I did make sure the candy canes weren’t too finely ground). Do you use a specific brand of candy cane/do you have any other tips? Thanks!

    1. Hi Emma, did you make any substitutions to the ingredients? If your cookies spread too thin it’s possible that it was from your butter being too warm – your cookie dough should be very thick and almost crumbly feeling when you are rolling the dough balls. I don’t have a favorite brand of candy canes but you can certainly try a different brand next time if you feel that was really the problem – and be sure you are only using a half of a cup!

  17. Sally, these are some of my very favorite cookies!! Do you think they’d work as a bar cookie in a 11″ x 7″ pan, or would they be too thick? (Maybe a bigger pan, or just keep them as cookies? ) Thanks! Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Paula! An 11×7 inch pan would be the perfect size for this cookie dough! I’m unsure of the exact bake time though.

  18. Does it matter if you roll the dough into balls, cover with plastic wrap and then chill?

    1. You can chill the dough already rolled if that is easier for you, Brenda!

  19. My cookies does not flatten out after it was baked but stayed more roundish shape. I followed the recipe exactly as it. Any idea why? I’ve had similar issues before with other recipes.

    1. Hi Nora! I would double check the way you are measuring your flour. Make sure you spoon and level it instead of packing it into a measuring cup. When there’s too much flour, it absorbs all the wet ingredients preventing cookies from spreading.

  20. I recently made these for connect group and they were amazing! Didn’t have any white chocolate, so I substituted milk chocolate, and they turned out insanely delicious! I just love the addition of actual candy canes, because they add such great flavor and texture to the cookies that is unparalleled in recipes using only peppermint extract. Hope you and and your family have a wonderful, blessed Christmas, Sally!

  21. I’ve made these cookies the last three winters and it’s quickly becoming a tradition of mine. I am so glad I found this recipe. I find with most cookies it’s tempting to eat them while they’re still a little warm, but these are best room temperature or cold, so don’t judge them too soon if you’re eating them straight out of the oven. I’ve had multiple friends ask me for the recipe. As usual, depending on your oven you may need to adjust cook time. Thank you, Sally, for the wonderful recipe!

  22. Sally, I can’t wait to try this recipe, but I have one question – what brand of white chocolate chips do you use/recommend? I find most white chips are really vanilla chips.
    p.s. – I love all of your recipes that I have tried and I am so happy to have “found” your fabulous web-site.

    1. Hi Sally! Thank you so much. I typically use Ghirardelli white chocolate baking chips/morsels.

  23. I love the flavor, but my cookies turned out flat and browned up on the edges. What do I need to do differently? ( Followed recipe closely)

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tess, If your cookies spread too thin it’s possible that it was from your butter being too warm – your cookie dough should be very thick and almost crumbly feeling when you are rolling the dough balls. Also try chilling your dough longer. Two hours is the minimum but the longer the better. For more troubleshooting help you can visit the post 10 Guaranteed Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading.

  24. Is there any way I can convert this to a chocolate cookie based recipe?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jamie, You can use this recipe for Peppermint Mocha Cookies. Happy baking!

  25. These are my favorite cookies ever! Great recipe that turns out every time. Thanks for the great recipe and annual tradition, Sally!

  26. First time I tried this recipe and they turned out absolutely perfect

  27. I have been making these cookies for the holiday season for 3 years now. They are always a huge hit and my husband says they are his favorite cookies! They are absolutely delicious. I’ll make the dough and have it chill overnight, makes creating the balls of dough a lot easier.

  28. My daughter loves these cookies. I used peppermint flavour instead of peppermint extract as the 4 grocery shops nearby do not sell it. And the baking speciality shop has sold all its stock. Grrr…. I am going to make these cookies again so I can eat the same kind of cookies that Sally does! 🙂

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