What are peppermint bark cookies? Coated in peppermint white chocolate, these soft chocolate sugar cookies are a beautifully festive and equally irresistible Christmas cookie.
Welcome to day 1 in the 6th annual Sally’s Cookie Palooza!
What is Sally’s Cookie Palooza?
A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 brand new cookie recipes as well as giveaways, the December Baking Challenge, Christmas cookie video tutorials, and so much more. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂
We’re kicking off 2018 with Peppermint Bark Cookies.
Peppermint bark cookies will literally be the most festive cookies on your Christmas cookie trays. Need an impressive cookie recipe for a work party, bake sale, holiday event, or Christmas cookie exchange? Bake these. Every single taste tester (there were 10 of us!!!!!!) went absolutely BANANAS for these.
How to Make Peppermint Bark Cookies
There are 3 parts to today’s cookie.
- Super soft chocolate sugar cookies
- White chocolate flavored with peppermint extract
- Crushed candy canes
My chocolate sugar cookies are just like my vanilla sugar cookies. This is a roll-out cookie flavored with cocoa powder. (You can watch me make the cookies in this helpful video tutorial.) The chocolate sugar cookie dough is very easy to work with and requires at least 1 hour of chilling in the refrigerator– 2 hours is even better. And, if you really want to get ahead, you can chill the cookie dough for up to 2 days. You’ll notice in my sugar cookie recipes that I roll the cookie dough out before chilling. Over the past several years, I learned that this method is much easier than chilling the cookie dough in a ball and then trying to roll out a cold chunk of dough. Dividing the dough in half before rolling makes the process easier because smaller sections are more manageable to roll out.
Helpful tip: Flour is helpful when rolling out cookie dough. It helps prevent the dough from sticking to the surface and rolling pin. But since we are making chocolate sugar cookies, use cocoa powder instead of flour for extra chocolate flavor!
Roll Out on a Non-Stick Surface
Roll the dough out right on your silicone baking mats or parchment paper! Why? Think about it. You have to chill the rolled out dough in the fridge… and you can’t really pick up a mass of dough you rolled out on the counter, right? Nor can you cut into shapes when the dough is this warm. Roll the dough out on a nonstick surface that you can literally pick up, put on a baking sheet, and place in the fridge.
I shape peppermint bark cookies into circles, but you can use any cookie cutter shape. To ensure the cookies don’t break apart, I recommend a cookie cutter that is 3 inches or smaller. I use my 2.5 inch circle cookie cutter from this handy set.
The pictured cookies are about the size of Oreo cookies.
Peppermint White Chocolate
Once the chocolate sugar cookies are cool, dunk them in pure white chocolate. Flavor the white chocolate with some peppermint extract and thin it out with a little oil. The thinner the chocolate, the easier coating the cookies will be.
Use white chocolate baking bars, such as Bakers or Ghirardelli brands, found in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips. They’re usually on sale this time of year! Don’t use white chocolate chips. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers and are processed so that they DO NOT melt in the oven. Dunking cookies in melted white chocolate chips is impossible.
When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip
Use Candy Dipping Tools to make the job easier– the 2 or 3 pronged tool are best for dipping cookies. The spiral dipping tool is what I use for neatly dipping truffles and most candy recipes. A fork works too, but the inexpensive dipping tools make the white chocolate coating very clean and neat.
Sprinkle the wet white chocolate with crushed candy canes, then let the chocolate set before stacking, gifting, or eating. These cookies are so SOFT and so THICK!!!!
You might also like: Peppermint Mocha Cookies
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 3/4 cup (63g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder (or dutch process), plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- four 4-ounce (450g) white chocolate baking bars, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, solid coconut oil, or canola oil
- 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 cup crushed candy canes (about 5 candy canes)
- In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar together on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Dust your rolling pin, cookie dough, and work surface with cocoa powder. Roll each portion out to about 1/4″ thickness on a piece of parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Stack the pieces (with parchment paper between) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Chilling is mandatory so the cookies hold their shape. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper. You can chill up to 2 days.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a 2.5 inch circle cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheets. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
- Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will still appear soft in the centers. Cool cookies on a baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before coating.
- For the coating: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Melt the chopped white chocolate and oil together in a double boiler or in the microwave in 15-second increments, stopping and stirring after each until completely smooth. Add another drop of oil to thin out if needed. After melting, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Taste. Add 1/4 teaspoon more if desired. (I suggest using 3/4 teaspoon because when the white chocolate sets, the peppermint flavor won’t be as strong.) Drop 1 cookie into white chocolate. Using a 2 or 3 pronged candy dipping tool, flip the cookie over to coat all sides. Lift the cookie up out of the chocolate and gently tap the dipping tool against the side of the bowl so excess white chocolate drips off. Slide coated cookie off the dipping tool onto prepared lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Repeat with remaining cookies.
- Allow chocolate to set completely in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or at room temperature for 90 minutes.
- Coated cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Make ahead tip: Dipped or un-dipped cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can chill the rolled-out cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (step 3). You can also freeze the cookie dough (before dividing and rolling out in step 3) for up to 3 months. Then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before rolling out. Chill for only 30 minutes in step 3 as opposed to 1 full hour.
- You can actually use either unsweetened dutch-process or natural cocoa powder in this cookie recipe. Read the difference between dutch-process and natural cocoa powder.
- Use 4-ounce white chocolate baking bars, such as Bakers or Ghirardelli brands, found in the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips. Don’t use white chocolate chips. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers and are processed so that they DO NOT melt in the oven. Dunking cookies in melted white chocolate chips is impossible. Why oil? The oil helps thin out the chocolate.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
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SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.