Drop sugar cookies made with crushed candy canes. Santa told me he wants these. @dessertfortwo

I dreamt about this cookie. Little things from my to-do list creep inside my brain and hang around at nighttime. I fell asleep asking myself ‘what am I going to do with those two languishing candy canes in the pantry??’ and then I had sweet, sweet cookie dreams.

Maybe we’re all dreaming about cookies this time of year. Santa can’t be the only one already thinking of endless plates of Christmas cookies! I’m ready for holiday parties and potlucks, and the general merriness that comes this time of year when no one declines dessert. It’s a dessert lover’s dream.

This 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 (another lesson I learned from America’s Test Kitchen).


The dough has a double hit of peppermint with crushed candy canes and Nielsen-Massey peppermint extract. I’ve found that a lot of the grocery store peppermint extracts are reminiscent of toothpaste. Not this brand. It smells sweet and minty, the way it should. I want to dab it on my wrists as perfume all winter long. But instead, I’ll put it in cookies, tip it in chocolate mousse, and splash it in every cup of hot cocoa!

I saved about a tablespoon of crushed candy canes to place on top of the cookies before baking. It’s entirely optional, but if you do this, don’t leave the pieces too large, or they make craters in the cookies while they bake. Candy cane dust is really what we’re after. There are some pieces of candy cane in this photo that are too large. Don’t be like me. Except do be like me and turn your cookie dreams into reality. Life is so, so sweet!


Yield: 1

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 candy canes, crushed

Optional white chocolate glaze:

  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  3. 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.
  4. Next, add the egg and peppermint extract and beat until combined.
  5. 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.
  6. Finally, beat in the crushed candy canes, but save about 1 tablespoon of the candy canes for garnish.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Did you make this recipe?

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