Perfectly pepperminty and sweet, these Candy Cane Sugar Cookies are made with real crushed candy canes and white chocolate glaze. No need to roll out cookies, just scoop into balls and bake.
We're all dreaming about Christmas cookies for Santa this time of year, aren't we? Santa can't be the only one already thinking of endless plates of Christmas cookies! I'm ready for holiday parties and potlucks to return, and the general merriness that comes this time of year when no one declines dessert. It's a dessert lover's dream.
How to Make Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
This recipe for candy cane sugar cookies is a basic drop sugar cookie recipe, meaning you don't have to roll out the dough and cut it. You do have to roll it in balls in your hands, but I think you can manage that. It has a little cream of tartar to help keep the cookies chewy, just like my pumpkin snicker doodles. You can always omit cream of tartar when called for in a recipe, but it will adjust the cookie texture to be a little firmer.
- Butter. We need 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter that has been softened to room temperature. This is a small batch recipe for candy cane sugar cookies, and it only makes one dozen cookies.
- Sugar. Just ½ cup of granulated white sugar.
- Egg. One large egg, beaten.
- Peppermint Extract. We will amplify the candy cane flavor of these cookies with one-half teaspoon of peppermint extract. Measure it carefully, because if you add too much, it might taste like toothpaste. Similarly, be sure to buy peppermint extract, NOT spearmint extract, which definitely tastes like toothpaste!
- Flour. All-purpose, bleached flour is what we need.
- Cream of Tartar. A small amount of cream of tartar makes these cookies super soft, but if you don't have it, just omit it. The cookies will be slightly firmer without it, but you can remove them from the oven early to combat this.
- Baking Soda.
- Candy Canes. Two whole candy canes, crushed into small pieces.
- White Chocolate. This is an optional white chocolate drizzle of the tops of the cookies. It also acts as something for extra candy cane crumbs to adhere to after baking.
- Oil. If you're going to use the optional white chocolate drizzle, you need a small amount of neutral oil to help melt the white chocolate. This can be coconut oil or plain vegetable oil.
Undoubtedly, the first step to any Christmas cookies recipe is to preheat the oven and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Once you ensure your ingredients are at the proper temperature, it's time to bake.
Beat together with an electric hand mixer the butter until it's light and fluffy, about 15 seconds. Then, add the egg and peppermint extract and beat just to combine.
Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Beat to combine, and then finally add the crushed candy canes or peppermint candies. So, the dough has a double hit of peppermint with crushed candy canes and peppermint extract. Be sure to save 1 tablespoon of crushed peppermints for garnish.
Press the dough mostly flat in the bowl, and then divide it in half by eye. Scoop six balls of dough from each half to get a total of 1 dozen peppermint cookies. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes on top before baking for 10-12 minutes.
The cookies are done when the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. After baking, melt the white chocolate and oil together until smooth and pourable. Use a fork to drizzle over each cookie. Just a note that if the pieces of candy cane are too large, they will cause craters in the baked cookie--ensure it's mostly powdery, as seen in the photos.
Equipment for Making Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
- Cookie Sheets - This brand of cookie sheet is my absolute favorite right now. Buy two and use them all year, not just for cookies!
- Silicone Mat - Instead of using parchment paper, invest in a silicone mat. It helps to evenly distribute heat in the oven, making all of the cookies bake at the same rate and shape.
These cookies are soft, thanks to the cream of tartar, so the best way to store them is in an air-tight container at room temperature. The dough may be frozen, but add a few extra minutes of bake time, and give them a quick smash to help them bake up flat. Already baked cookies can be frozen and defrosted at room temperature before serving.
Other Pepperminty Recipes:
If you love these minty candy cane cookies with a double dose of peppermint, you would love these other treats with a minty twist.
Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
Candy cane sugar cookies with a double dose of peppermint: peppermint extract and crushed candy canes with a white chocolate glaze.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 candy canes, crushed
Optional white chocolate glaze:
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter for about 15 seconds to break it up, and then slowly stream in the sugar while continuing to beat.
- Next, add the egg and peppermint extract and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add this in two increments to the wet ingredients, beating in between each session. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Finally, beat in the crushed candy canes, but save about 1 tablespoon of the candy canes for garnish. Ensure that your candy cane pieces are finely crushed, as large pieces of candy will cause craters in your final cookie
- Divide the dough in half by eye in your bowl, and aim to get 6 cookies out of each half. Roll each dough in your hands to make a neat ball. Place the cookies on the cookie sheet evenly spaced. Sprinkle the reserved crushed candy cane on top of each.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are starting to turn light golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
- To make the white chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate and oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power in 20 second pulses until the chocolate melts. Stir between each pulse. Drizzle each cookie with glaze before serving.
I prefer peppermint extract for baking instead of mint extract. Mint extract can taste a bit like toothpaste. Peppermint extract should be easy to find around the holidays.
If you lack candy canes, use a handful of regular round peppermints.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the perfect cookie to make with my grandson for Santa Claus! These cookies smell amazing while baking and taste positively delicious! Sure hope Santa will be happy with the three we didn't eat :-) Merry Christmas!
Christina Lane says
Aww I'm so glad you liked them, Pamela! :)
I made these yesterday and everyone in my family loves them! I didn't have any chocolate so I couldn't put the glaze on. They were amazing without it though. Thanks for the great recipe.
Where do you purchase Nielen-Massey peppermint extract.
Your recipe stays soft? so many sugar cookies get hard and do not stay soft. I was once told the butter is what causes the problem, told to split with butter flavored Crisco or could use coconut solid shortening.
Thanks for recipe my daughter in law aunt ships her these kind of cookies every year from a bakery. so good
Christina Lane says
I buy it either online or at Williams-Sonoma. And yes, butter is firm at room temperature, so the cookies firm up, but they're not overly hard. Recipes that use crisco would definitely be softer and more chewy.
What neutral oil should someone use? One friend only uses olive oil, no vegetable, canola or other flavored oils! Thank you!
Christina Lane says
Neutral oils are flavorless, like canola, vegetable, sunflower, grapeseed or avocado :)
Karen Austin says
Made this today and they are sooo good! Thank you Christiana for sharing the recipe!
Holly C says
Hi Christina! I baked these tonight and they were so yummy and festive! I'm glad that I was finally able to use the peppermint extract that I bought last year!
Can you be more specific on the amount of crushed candy cane to add? Candy canes come in many different sizes. Thank you.