We’ve covered the fact that very little baking went on in my house growing up. Unfortunately for everyone, that included Christmas cookies. Don’t feel too bad for me though–we had plenty of family friends dropping off homemade treats, and I spent lots of time shoving them in my face between bites of artichoke dip. I made the best of a less-than-ideal situation 😜 And to further my resilience, today I am embarking on a new series that focuses specifically on holiday cookies. I have asked just about everyone I know about their favorite holiday cookies, and gone a little crazy digging through Rose’s Christmas Cookies and Pinterest to bring you Twelve Days of Cookies! That’s right–twelve cookie recipes between now and December 25th!
We’re starting with a doozy: Red Velvet Peppermintdoodles. Peppermint-scented red velvet cookies coated in a pulverized peppermint candy crust and baked until soft and chewy. Bright red cookies with a hint of cocoa, a good dose of peppermint flavor, and a crispy candy crust? Could they possibly have more holiday cheer?!
These cookies start with a slightly doctored-up version of my Red Velvet Cookie dough. We add just a hint of peppermint flavor (in the form of peppermint extract) to the classic chocolate-vanilla flavor of red velvet. Vanilla and peppermint? Good. Chocolate and peppermint? Good. Vanilla and chocolate and peppermint? AMAZING. Now, peppermint extract is great and all, but it is potent. This recipe only requires 1/2 teaspoon for an entire batch of cookies. If we were to use more than 1/2 teaspoon, we’d risk cookies that taste a lot like toothpaste. I love the flavor of Colgate for cleaning my teeth, but I don’t want it in my dessert thankyouverymuch. So, be careful with your extract. If anything, you may want to reduce it to 1/4 teaspoon. In addition to the peppermint *in* the cookies, we’re going to coat them in pulverized peppermint candies!
To make the coating, we’ll need 15 starlight peppermint candies and a food processor or high-powered blender. Crushing the candy by hand will not work here because we need the candies to become powder. If there are large pieces of peppermint in our coating, they will melt all over our pans while they’re in the oven, and quite possibly burn. So, blitz the peppermints in the food processor until they are a fine powder. A little warning: this will be LOUD. So loud that your upstairs neighbors may knock on the door and ask what on earth you are doing. So prepare yourself. Ear muffs may be a good choice. Once the candies have been processed, whisk the powder together with a bit of granulated sugar. This gives our coating a little extra texture and allows it to adhere to the dough more easily. Scoop chilled dough by the tablespoon and roll it into balls. Roll each ball in the coating, place on a prepared sheet pan, and bake for 8-10 minutes. Then just let them cool and enjoy.
Be warned: one bite of these minty chocolate-vanilla cookies, and you’ll be hooked 😊 The crispy, crackly crust alone is worth the effort! These cookies are perfect for holiday parties, gifting, cookie exchanges, or just keeping in your cookie jar. They’re guaranteed to bring a little holiday cheer to your family and friends!
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder*
1/4 cup buttermilk powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup light brown sugar*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1 teaspoon liquid red food coloring*
15 starlight peppermint candies*, pulverized in the food processor
1/4 cup granulated sugar
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, buttermilk powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. One at a time, add in eggs, whisking until completely combined. Add in vanilla extract, followed by red food coloring. Add dry ingredients in two installments, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until combined. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours, or up to three days.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets. In a small bowl, whisk together pulverized peppermint candies and granulated sugar.
Scoop chilled dough in 1 tablespoon increments and roll into balls. Roll dough balls in coating mixture before placing them at least two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until the tops are no longer raw-looking. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for 5-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
1. Do not use Dutch process cocoa here. Your cookies will have an unpleasant metallic flavor.
2. Dark brown sugar may be substituted.
3. Gel food coloring may also be used.
4. Make sure to use starlight peppermint hard candies, not soft peppermints. Candy canes may also be used. You will need 10-12 standard-sized candy canes.