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


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


  • 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


  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.


  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


Comments are closed.

  1. I wonder if the candy canes I used were just cheap or they’re somehow different here in NZ, but they melted out the sides of the cookies so they weren’t as pretty as yours! Still tasty though!

  2. 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.

    2. Mine turned out very flat as well. I smashed my candy canes with a kitchen hammer, so there was quite a bit of “dust”. Next time I will chop with a knife.

  3. 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!

    1. These definitely top my holiday cookie list…so happy you feel the same way! Happy holidays, Tammy!

  4. Red Haired Lady says:


    I made these today, subbing Andes Peppermint Chips for the candy canes. They were phenomenal! Baked up nice and thick, but of a crunch to the edges, and chewy in the middle. Not at all heavy tasting. These are going on the must bake for Xmas every year list for sure!

  5. 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 🙂

    2. Yay…perfect….thank you!!!!!

  6. Hi Sally! I have a friend who’s not a big chocolate fan  and these would be perfect for her as a gift! I was planning on making it into a “cookie in a jar” type gift for her, and I was just wondering if I should change the amount of flour or any other ingredient since it would only be the dry ingredients in the jar. If this wouldn’t work out in your opinion, just let me know! Thank you so much and Happy Holidays! 

  7. Hi Sally!
    I’ve made your white chocolate chip cranberry pistachio cookies a few years in a row, but this year I wanted a simple white chocolate chip and nut cookie. I chose to use this as the base and used just the white chocolate chips and cashew nuts. In place of the peppermint extract, I used extra vanilla. They are perfection! Next year, I want to make this recipe exactly as written – in all its peppermint glory!

  8. I just made these… and proceeded to eat 3 of them. Amazing! These are found in my “keeper” file!

  9. Just a testament to how important it is to chill your dough.. I made these cookies for the first time for a baking event at work. I got home late the night before, so threw the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes hoping that would do the trick. Sure enough, my cookies were very flat, spread out, and even a little greasy, but overall still had a good flavor. I’ve loved every recipe I’ve made from this site, so knew the fault was mine and made them again when I had more time. This time I chilled the dough in the fridge overnight, and they turned out perfectly! I’ll be reading recipes beforehand a little more carefully in the future to make sure I have time for chilling. A good lesson to learn 🙂

  10. I have these chilling in my fridge. I’ve made it to my 4th cookie recipe to make and freeze (I might just bake these off tomorrow without freezing since it’s close to Christmas now) and I’m debating using a red food coloring to tint the white chocolate light pink when I drizzle it over. Can you do that? Put food coloring in white chocolate? I just have simple food coloring. 

    1. You can, yes. Use it sparingly. I would add 1/4 teaspoon of oil when adding the food coloring. The extra fat will help prevent the chocolate from seizing.

  11. 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.

  12. awesome cookies! despite scorching the white chocolate in the microwave and having to make a new batch, this time in a double boiler, i completed the recipe and they are delicious.

  13. I’ve made these cookies before and I love them, but it’s before Halloween and very hard to find candy canes, crushed or not. I was wondering if there was anything else that would pair well with white chocolate that I could put into the cookies instead (I already bought the ingredients). Maybe a fruit or nut?

    1. Hi Greta! How about dried cranberries or dried cherries? You can leave out the peppermint extract.

  14. Hello Sally, sorry if it’s a basic question but I’d love to bake these cookies in a smaller batch. If I was to make just half the amount how would the quantities of each ingredient change? Would they all just be half of the measurements you stated (aside from the one egg?)

    Thank you so much!

    1. Yep, halve the ingredients. 🙂

  15. Could I sprinkle a few chunks of chocolate over the cookies while they’re fresh out of the oven for extra chocolate flavor? Or dip half the cookie in melted white chocolate and then coat with crushed candy-canes?

    1. Yes! Both ways sound delicious! I think dipping the cookies halfway in melted white chocolate and topping with crushed candy canes would be so pretty. Like my peppermint mocha cookies 🙂

  16. 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.

  17. The greatest internet recipe fail I’ve ever had. The dough is so crumbly, it’s almost impossible to work into balls. And the cookies are rock hard. This is the first recipe of yours that I’ve tried, but I wouldn’t recommend it to others.

    1. I would definitely tell you to try again, you must have done something wrong. I’ve maid these multiple time with no issues ever.

  18. 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:

  19. 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!

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

  21. 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!

    1. Ha! Well that’s great to read!

  22. 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.

    1. So glad you tried and love these! This cookie dough is a wonderful starting point for a variety of add-ins, so add your favorites!

  23. 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.

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed these! Yes, you can use a different add-in with this dough 🙂

      1. Yay! I can’t wait to experiment with add-ins. I’ll have to leave a comment on my results. Thanks for the quick reply, Sally, and Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family! (including the dogs, of course).

  24. Can I use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar ?

  25. Hey Sally! Just wanted to say I did end up trying these with mini marshmallows and Smarties; I’m not sure if I liked the combination or not. The Smarties tasted kinda weird once baked…marshmallows were good though! But they tasted much better when I drizzled (OK, smothered) them with melted milk chocolate. Love the original version best and luckily I have loads of candy canes left over. So I should make these again soon to get rid of them…;)

  26. Sally, can I substitute semisweet chocolate chips for the white chocolate chips? Unfortunately, I do not carry them on hand at all times and I’d love to make these cookies again…I love the combination of peppermint with any chocolate, so I’m assuming it will taste almost as good. White chocolate and peppermint is such a uniquely flavored combination, one which I am now in love with!

    1. Absolutely! Just a 1:1 swap.

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

  29. HI,

    May i leave out the corn starch?

  30. 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!

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